Gordon Reisima plays a shot on his way to 79. PHOTOS/CHRIS COGDALE
Onslaught sinks Wairarapa
The gloss was taken off Stefan Hook becoming Wairarapa’s highest ever Hawke Cup wicket-taker, with the team beaten outright by Horowhenua-Kapiti over the weekend.
The medium-fast bowler claimed a match haul of 11-118 to take his total Hawke Cup wickets to 144, surpassing the previous record jointly held by Tony Short and Dave Biss.
Post Office Hotel Wairarapa dominated the Furlong Cup [Hawke Cup elimination series] match at Donnelly Park, Levin, for much of the two days — only for a swashbuckling century to opener Dion Sanson to provide the impetus for the home side’s unlikely victory.
Batting first, Wairarapa struggled to 138 on a pitch that was difficult to score on, with first-drop Jared van Deventer the best with a top score of 31. Medium-pacer Zack Benton was a handful, claiming an impressive 7-21 from 18.4 testing overs.
The home side batters also struggled against the seam bowlers, and Hook and Red Star clubmate Pete Sigvertsen soon had Horowhenua-Kapiti in deep trouble at 13-5 with their accurate line and length.
Ajay Kumar showed the only real resistance with a gutsy 54 in their total of 104. Hook was rewarded with his best figures of 7-30 from 20 overs, bettering the 7-34 he took on the same ground in 2018, and Sigvertsen finished with 3-35.
Wairarapa’s second innings didn’t start well, and the team were reeling at 49-5 until Andy Dodd and Nathan Elliott started a mini-revival. When Dodd was bowled for 31 at 79-6, the chances of setting the home side a challenging target looked remote, but enter captain Gordon Reisima, who with Elliott produced the outstanding partnership of the match, a 104-run stand.
Elliott was eventually dismissed for 53 [105 balls, including six fours], his first half-century for Wairarapa. Reisima scored 79 [84 balls, 12 fours and one six].
Reisima declared at 243-8, leaving Horowhenua-Kapiti to tackle the unlikely target of 278 off 39 overs.
With nothing to lose, opening batters Sanson and Jamie Pinfold were aggressive from the start on a pitch that had flattened out considerably, taking nine runs off Hook’s first three balls.
The onslaught was relentless and brutal, and when Sanson was dismissed for 117 [99 balls, 10 fours, five sixes], the home side were 232-4 from 28 overs and well in sight of victory.
Hook gave Wairarapa some hope with the wickets of Daniel Browne, his record-breaking wicket, and Keegan Maclachlan, but it was too little too late.
Fraser Bartholomew hit the winning runs with three overs to spare.
Although Wairarapa coach Neil Perry was disappointed with the loss, he was proud of how the side played over the two days.
“We had a really good two days and dominated for almost all of the game. But what was disappointing was we invited them in, and they drove straight through the front door,” Perry said.
“That was a possibility, and we knew that and that was the carrot we needed to dangle to potentially win a game, but the guys are bitterly disappointed, and I’m really disappointed for them but certainly not with anything we did.”
Perry felt Wairarapa controlled the game and that they may not have taken the risk of setting a target if it had been played early in the season, and Furlong Cup positions were on the line.
“When you look back on it, they had nothing to lose, and from my coaching philosophy, I don’t have a problem with it at all; obviously, it’s difficult to see how disappointed and upset everybody was at the end.
“I was quite happy for us to be in a situation that challenged us, that asked lots of questions, and that we had something to gain from. You’ve got to weigh that with how the side feel at the end.
“What I was really proud of is that we dug in and fought and made it really tight at the end, and we were only three wickets away and a couple of overs away from a win or a draw.”
Perry was thrilled with Hook becoming the highest wicket-taker for Wairarapa in Hawke Cup history and the batting efforts of Reisima and Elliott with the bat in the second innings.
Wairarapa finish their Furlong Cup campaign away to Taranaki this weekend.
Wairarapa 138 [Jared van Deventer 31; Zack Benton 7-21] and 243-8 dec [Gordon Reisima 79, Nathan Elliott 53, Andy Dodd 31] lost outright to Horowhenua-Kapiti 104 [Ajay Kumar 53; Stefan Hook 7-30, Pete Sigvertsen 3-35] and 278-7 [Dion Sanson 117, Andrew Simpson 33, Jamie Pinfold 30, Dylan Reder 30; Hook 4-88] by three wickets.