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Wairarapa scramble innings win

Stefan Hook scored a valuable 37 not out and took four wickets in Wairarapa’s first innings win over Taranaki. PHOTOS/FILE

Wairarapa end season on a high


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Post Office Hotel Wairarapa finished the Furlong Cup on a high with a gutsy first innings win over Taranaki in New Plymouth on Saturday and Sunday.


After being sent into bat on an unusually green Pukekura Park pitch, Wairarapa fought hard to post a total of 218, and then bowled and fielded superbly to dismiss the home side for 206 midway through the middle session on the second day.

“There was a little bit in it, and it was quite green to start with, but the outfield was really slow and quite spongy,” Wairarapa coach Neil Perry said.

“It wasn’t a fast-scoring ground or surface, and all the first day a thickish outside edge through the slips you were only getting ones or twos, and you had to really time it to get to the boundary.”

The difficulty in posting runs was evident in the scoring rates of both teams, with Wairarapa batting for 81.4 overs [2.67 runs per over], and Taranaki even slower, being dismissed in 87.1 overs [2.36 RPO]

Perry said it was one of those innings where the batters needed to tough it out against some good bowling from the home side.

Opener Gus Borren, with 34, Jack Forrester with the top score of 55, and captain Stefan Hook, with 37 not out batting at number 10, were the best of the Wairarapa batters.

“Gus batted very well but unfortunately gave it away, and that was pretty much the same as everybody. No one really looked in trouble but got out.

“Forry looked great. I always back Forry to score runs on those surfaces where the ball comes on to the bat a bit more, and he used the pace well and played some lovely shots.

“Stefan was great and just gutsed it out, and we put on big ninth and 10th wicket partnerships.”

Sean Wakelin took three wickets including the crucial wickets of Sam Lauderdale-Smith and Liam Muggeridge.

Taranaki overcame the early loss of prolific runscorer Dean Robinson and Bailey Wisnewski for only 20 runs to go to stumps on the first day at 67-2 with Liam Muggeridge and Sam Lauderdale-Smith set and looking comfortable.

Both finally lost patience against some accurate Wairarapa seam bowling with Lauderdale-Smith out for 47 and Muggeridge dismissed for 30, both caught off the bowling of Sean Wakelin.

The remaining batters struggled to establish big partnerships and Wairarapa maintained a disciplined line and length to pick up regular wickets to complete a deserved victory.

“Taranaki batted long periods without making mistakes because we were super disciplined and the bowling was really good, especially the second day we were just channel, channel, channel, and gave them nothing, the fielding was great and we took some good chances,” said Perry

“Stefan was magnificent as always, but Sean bowled really well, and the change bowlers Jaco [Vorster] and Jake [Jonas] supported really well. We were able to maintain pressure all the time.”

Hook finished with the impressive figures of 4-60 off 31 overs and Wakelin 3-49 off 26 overs.

“It was just good hard cricket, and we never gave an inch and took our opportunities and obviously the boys are absolutely over the moon to get the decision in the end.

“I was delighted in how we played and really, really pleased for them.”

Wairarapa finished fifth in the standings on 32 points ahead of Whanganui on 24.


Wairarapa 218 [Jack Forrester 55, Stefan Hook 37no, Gus Borren 34; Viranchi Upadhyay 3-28] beat Taranaki 206 [Davis Mills 48, Sebastian Lauderdale-Smith, Liam Muggeridge 30; Hook 4-60, Sean Wakelin 3-49] on first innings.

FINAL FURLONG CUP POINTS: Manawatu 61, Hawke’s Bay 59, Horowhenua-Kapiti 40, Taranaki 34, Wairarapa 32, Whanganui 24.

Red light stops U-17 tournament

The Central Districts Under-17 tournament set to be played in Masterton this week has been cancelled after the nation moved to red under the covid-19 traffic light system.

Eight teams from Wairarapa, Marlborough, Nelson, Horowhenua-Kapiti, Manawatu, Hawke’s Bay, Whanganui, and Taranaki were to play round-robin games yesterday and today, with playoffs tomorrow.

However, Wairarapa Cricket community and pathways manager Nathan Elliott confirmed that the restrictions under the red level mean the tournament cannot proceed.

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