The victorious Red Star team with the Bidwill Cup. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

CRICKET

CHRIS COGDALE
chris.cogdale@age.co.nz

Sean Wakeling stepped up to the big stage with a match-winning performance for Burger King Red Star in their second consecutive Bidwill Cup victory over Jackson Street Lansdowne over the weekend.

The medium-pacer had rarely been used throughout the Coastal Challenge and the early rounds of the Bidwill Cup, but he found the Queen Elizabeth Park Oval pitch to his liking in the two-day final, picking up nine wickets for 56 runs for the match, including six of the first seven wickets to fall in the second innings.

Red Star needed to win outright to retain their title, and captain Stefan Hook had no hesitation in bowling on a pitch that had more than a tinge of green, after winning the toss.

His decision paid off immediately with the first wicket falling in the first over.

The defending champions were in the ascendancy from then on, with Lansdowne struggling to score runs with the pitch providing plenty of seam movement and variable bounce.

A 36-run fifth-wicket stand between Aaron Bidlake [24] and captain Robin Speers [10] was the only partnership of substance for the top qualifiers as they were bundled out for a disappointing 82 in the 38th over.

Hook finished with 4-16 off 11 tights overs, while Wakelin was tough to get away, claiming 3-11 off six overs, with six of those runs coming from his last over.

The target for Red Star was to build as big a first innings’ lead as possible, but like Lansdowne, they struggled to master the challenging batting conditions.

Only Wairarapa representative opener Robbie Anderson gained some dominance over the bowlers, scoring a game-high 49 from 50 balls, including eight fours.

There were some useful contributions down the order, though, with veteran Dion Knight [15no], Nathan Chaney [18], Peter Sigvertsen [13] ensuring that Red Star would have a substantial first-innings lead.

Medium-fast Reece Hannam, with 4-40, and the underrated Regan Fricker, who took 3-27 with his slow-medium inswingers, were the best of the Lansdowne bowlers.

Lansdowne made a cautious start to the second innings and were mostly untroubled progressing to 34 in the 15th over.

Batting for time was always going to be difficult in the bowler-friendly conditions, and once Wakelin struck with the wicket of the experienced Alex Goodin [nine], that triggered a collapse, with seven wickets falling for 16 runs and leaving Lansdowne staring down the barrel of an innings defeat.

Wakelin finished with 6-45, with all six wickets falling in a seven-over period for just six runs.

Veteran Sanjay Patel [33] and medium-pacer Gurdev Singh added a modicum of respectability to the score with 58 for the eighth wicket. But Watt ensured there would be no match-saving heroics, wrapping up the tail and finishing with 4-15

That left Red Star a target of 27 to secure the championship, which they achieved in the fourth over, with Anderson hitting a six to bring up the winning runs.

BRIEF SCORES

Jackson Street Bar Lansdowne 82 [Aaron Bidlake 24; Stefan Hook 4-16, Sean Wakelin 3-11] and 119 [Sanjay Patel 33, Gurdev Singh 25, Sean Rudman 23; Wakelin 6-45, Jared Watt 4-15] lost to Burger King Red Star 175 [Robbie Anderson 49; Reece Hannam 4-40, Regan Fricker 3-27] and 27-1 [Anderson 16no] by nine wickets.



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