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Waicol top of the pile

Jake Young [bowling] starred with bat and ball for Waicol on Saturday. PHOTO/FIONA HIGGINSON

CRICKET

JAKE BELESKI
[email protected]

The Wairarapa College First XI boys’ cricket team are riding high at the top of the Wellington secondary school premier 2 grade.

After four matches, Waicol are tied with Wellington College at the top of the standings with both teams having won three of their matches to date.

Waicol travelled to Kapiti College last Saturday to take on the school’s First XI, and produced a dominant display to win by seven wickets.

After winning the toss and electing to bowl, Waicol made early inroads to have Kapiti in trouble at 32-3.

Josh Nelson led the attack from the front, picking up two early wickets through an LBW and a sharp catch at first slip by Mark Steventon.

Oliver Bunny then came on and struck in his first over, this time with Nelson taking a good catch.

Kapiti put together a partnership and played some attacking shots to take the score through to 72-3, before Caleb Anstis was brought on and cut one back to bowl one of Kapiti’s set batsmen.

Anstis struck again a short time later, this time with a diving catch from Jake Young.

The Waicol spinners made their presence felt as they continued to apply constant pressure to the Kapiti batting line-up.

First, Zac Te Maro bowled a peach in his first over to take out the batsman’s off stump, and his partnership with Young proved crucial in the end.

Young took 4-22 from nine tight overs, and Kapiti were all out for 129 from just 38 overs.

Coach Alistair Payne said it was a great effort from his team.

“There were big improvements from all the bowlers who focused on bowling good lines and lengths and the boys in the field as a collective.”
There was a sense of deja vu when drizzle set in between innings, as the match between the two sides was abandoned four weeks ago in the second innings with Waicol well on top.

Payne said the messages to the opening batsmen were very clear and they approached the innings with maturity, despite difficult conditions and some very tidy bowling.

Opening batsman Gracyn Evans made 13 and his partner William Sargent 17, however, at 44-2 after 14 overs, the game was still very much in the balance.

Oliver Bunny steadied the ship and toiled away, along with Young, with some pretty risk-free batting.

The rain continued to threaten and Waicol did fall behind the 20-over par score, but fortunately the weather cleared and they were able to bat on in pursuit of their target.

After Bunny was caught behind on 28 with the score at 89-3, Steventon was sent in to continue the momentum with Young, and they both delivered.

The two batted well together and complemented each other nicely to take Waicol through to 133-3 in the 37th over to cement a comprehensive win.

Young capped off a superb individual performance by finishing on 47 not out, while Steventon was 15 not out.

Waicol’s final match of the round-robin will be at Paraparaumu College this Saturday.

If they can finish on top of the standings, they will secure a home final the following week.

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