Gurdev Singh took 3-14, making the most of the variable bounce on the QE Park Oval pitch. PHOTOS/JADE CVETKOV
Wicketkeeper-batter Andrew Taylor led the way for United in their two-wicket victory over Burger King Red Star in their Coastal Challenge match on Saturday.
The two-day game at Queen Elizabeth Park Oval was reduced to a one innings match after the first day was washed out without a ball being bowled.
Taylor came to the crease at the fall of captain Jared van Deventer’s wicket with the score at 31-1 and chasing Red Star’s total of 128 on a pitch offering variable bounce.
The Rathkeale student batted through the remainder of the innings and finished on 43 not out, an innings of patience coming from 111 balls and featuring five fours.
Earlier Red Star struggled to gain any momentum after being sent into bat by van Deventer, with medium pacers Gurdev Singh and Gus Borren proving difficult to face on the unpredictable pitch.
Singh, who finished with 3-14 off 17 overs, and Borren, with 2-17 off 11 overs were more than a handful, as Stars stumbled to 18-4 after 14 overs. Wairarapa representative openers Jake Jonas and Robbie Anderson continued their lean run of form, with Jonas bowled by Singh for 3, and Anderson caught and bowled by Borren for a third ball duck.
Two middle order partnerships gave Red Star some hope of posting a respectable score. The first, by Nathan Chaney and captain Stefan Hook, added 43 for the fifth wicket. Chaney’s 26 runs came for 46 balls and included two fours and two sixes. Hook and representative wicketkeeper Paddy Gluck  then put on 42 for the sixth wicket.
When Hook was out for a hard fought 46 [134 balls, including eight fours] with the score at 115-7, there was little resistance from the tailenders, and Red Star were dismissed in the 55th over, giving United 53 overs to chase down the below-par total.
Hook made early inroads with the wickets of openers van Deventer , and Kishan Dhiman , but a fourth wicket stand of 55 between Taylor and Jaco Vorster  put United in a strong position.
Hook did send some shivers through the United lower order though with three wickets in an over to have them 123-8, but Taylor and veteran Sanjay Patel held their nerve and sealed the victory.
United will now play Whanganui Marist and Red Star will take on Whanganui United in the next round of the Coastal Challenge two-day series.
Burger King Red Star 128 [Stefan Hook 46, Nathan Chaney 28; Gurdev Singh 3-14, Gus Borren 2-17, Regan Fricker 2-36] lost to United 132-8 [Andrew Taylor 43no, Jaco Vorster 28; Stefan Hook 5-32] by two wickets.