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Vorster breaks the duck – claims first ton

Jared van Deventer … second-highest scorer with 54. PHOTOS/FILE

Vorster has high praise for team

CRICKET

CHRIS COGDALE
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Post Office Hotel Wairarapa batter Jaco Vorster praised his teammates for helping him reach his first ‘ton’ for the district in the washed-out Furlong Cup match against Whanganui on Saturday.

Jaco Vorster scored his elusive first century for Wairarapa against Whanganui.

Vorster’s 110 came in typically quick time from 128 balls. And as always, the powerful South African wasn’t afraid to put away the bad balls, hitting 11 fours and four sixes.

It was still a surprisingly quick scoring rate on the damp soft pitch and slow outfield and given that he was playing his first representative game of the season.

Because of personal commitments, his only other outing was a Coastal Challenge fixture for United against Burger King Red Star.

“It definitely wasn’t the easiest track, but it was probably quite a bit easier later than in the beginning when the top order were batting,” said Vorster.

“I know when I came in, it was really sticky and skiddy, and it stayed quite sticky and skiddy, but I think it got a bit easier as it dried out a bit.”

Vorster said the hard work of openers Jake Jonas [10] and Robbie Anderson [10], followed by an 81-run third-wicket partnership by Jared van Deventer [54] and Andy Dodd [35], set up the possibility of a big first innings score and for him to take advantage of the tiring Whanganui bowlers.

“I know Jake and Robbie maybe didn’t get many runs but facing about 30 balls each, that took 10 overs out of the game. The new ball gone, so hats off to the top four really, because I think they did a massive job.”

Captain Gordon Reisima [29] and Gus Borren [46], each scored at nearly a run a ball, which helped take the pressure off as he approached the elusive three figures.

“Gordy made a hell of a difference. It’s quite funny when I saw him walking in. I said ‘I’m so glad you’re walking in, I just need someone to calm me down a little bit’.

Gus Borren smashed a quick 46 in the first innings against Whanganui on Saturday.

“Then for Gus to step up towards the end, it just took off so much pressure because at that stage, I was just in a bit of a hole, and Gus was just bombing it.”

Reaching 100 was furthest from the 36-year-old’s mind for much of the innings, with his focus on seeing Wairarapa through to maximum batting points for reaching 300.

“Then at one point, I thought, ‘hang on, there’s a chance here and maybe I should just kind of focus a little bit more and I can actually do this’.

“But until the late 80s, I wasn’t really thinking about 100 – I was just thinking about getting maximum batting points.”

The Masterton dentist needed his fair share of luck, being dropped three times in one over, and the relief and joy were evident when he raised his bat in celebration after completing an easy two to reach 100.

Vorster had scored five half-centuries previously with a top score of 85, also against Whanganui, in February 2019.

His century is the first for Wairarapa since Liam Burling’s 120 against Whanganui in February 2018.

Wairarapa coach Neil Perry was rapt – not only with Vorster’s century – but the entire batting effort of reaching a formidable 343, after they lost the toss and told to bat first.

“The pitch was very challenging to bat on. It had been under covers for a considerable amount of time, and there had been a lot of rain around, so it was certainly a little bit softer than usual.

“There was a lot of moisture in it, and the surface definitely bruised or scalloped as the new ball hit it, and that meant there was variation in bounce and lateral movement,” Perry said.

“It was one of those wickets where nobody felt really in on, and you had to take your scoring opportunities because there was certainly a ball with your name on it.

“To score 340 on that surface and that outfield, which was very wet and longer than the groundsman would’ve liked, was outstanding.”

The only disappointment for Perry was that Wairarapa could not push ahead for first-innings points and a potential outright win with Whanganui 38-2 overnight, before Sunday’s play was washed out.

“We created pressure, and it’s a shame that on the second day, we didn’t get the opportunity to keep our foot on the throat and do what good sides do.

“I was really pleased for the boys because we put in a really good solid performance doing everything we’ve been talking about and working towards.

“I think Jared summed it up really well that it was the sort of day we’ve needed. It was important for the team’s self-belief.”

Wairarapa’s next Furlong Cup match is a catch-up game away to Taranaki on January 8-9, after their fixture last month fell victim to the covid-19 outbreak.

FURLONG CUP POINTS

Manawatu 50, Hawke’s Bay 43, Horowhenua-Kapiti 30, Taranaki 23, Whanganui 22, Wairarapa 12.

NB: All teams have played four games, except Taranaki and Wairarapa, who have played three.

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