Injury the final blow for United
Property Brokers United have again finished runners-up in the Coastal Challenge Cup final. After losing their veteran allrounder Tom Lance to a nasty compound fracture of the knuckle while bowling, United had to pad up with only nine wickets available against defending champions Levin Old Boys who won by 81 runs on Saturday.
As well as back-to-back championships, Levin tied with their fellow Horowhenua-Kāpiti club Paraparaumu Medical Centre CC for a record third Coastal Challenge title.
Favourites despite playing away at Tasman Tanning (Victoria) Park on a flat track, Levin won the toss and opted to bat first, with their top order led by openers Bailey Te Tomo (71 from 75 balls) and Jesse Parker (32 from 30) swiftly putting on 71 runs.
It appeared 330 or more was on the cards as Andrew Simpson (33 from 52) came in after Parker’s dismissal and supported Te Tomo until being claimed by a catch off veteran bowler Brendon Walker (2-51).
Te Tomo finally succumbed to the Hobbs family combination, as Carter took the catch off uncle Gerard’s bowling at 156-3, but with Levin’s franchise batsman Matt Good (59 off 51) set and the 200 mark approaching and more than 15 overs left, Levin were cruising.
Hitting eight boundaries and a six, Good was watchful against spinner Lance while attacking the medium pacers at the other end, but then the match saw a massive double twist in the space of an over.
Lance got Good to play and miss and made a virtually solo LBW appeal, which was accepted, to expose Levin’s middle order, but only a few deliveries later, the veteran moved swiftly to field a straight drive from Ryan Taylor and suffered his hand injury, with the bone breaking through the skin of his little finger.
Lance was taken to Whanganui Hospital for X-rays before his finger was set, stitched and bandaged, as skipper Chris Sharrock, who had taken stick from Good, came back to complete Lance’s final over then carried on bowling, with Duane Maraki (4-45) returning from the other end.
Levin captain Dion Sanson (21 from 24) looked to keep the momentum
going, but Sharrock trapped Taylor in front and Maraki fired up to remove the skipper off a good slips catch by Gerard Hobbs, before getting handy tail-enders Curtis Maclachlan and Daemon Kennett in consecutive balls to be sitting on a hat-trick.
Last man Joel Bishop survived that delivery and hung around long enough with Bernard O’Brien (12 not out) to put on a 15-run partnership and get Levin to 261, before Maraki bowled Bishop at the end of the 49th over – United nearly keeping them
under 250 in a big fight back.
However, having lost Lance and therefore having only nine wickets, United had to rearrange their batting order as Greg Smith, who so wanted a signature innings this summer, opened with Gerard Hobbs.
Kennett (2-22) immediately had them on the back foot as Hobbs and Sam Roebuck fell to caught-behind catches in consecutive deliveries.
However, Carter Hobbs (55 from 83) survived the hat-trick ball and joined the determined Smith (84 from 83) to put on the 121-run partnership — the pair being United’s two fastest batsmen between the wickets.
Seeing the ball out of the middle, Smith began to find the gaps off the opening spin/pace combination of Kennett and Maclachlan, while Hobbs was more watchful, but when the opportunity came he launched, cleanly driving three balls for six.
Smith, with nine boundaries and a six, led United to 125-2 after 25 overs, scoring around the crease with drives, cuts, sweeps and pulls.
Having seen off Parker and Bishop from the attack, Smith and Hobbs looked like they could easily raise another 30 or 40 runs to put their side in full control, but Taylor (4-36)
stepped up to put a yorker through Hobbs for another big momentum swing.
Smith was initially unfazed, raising a quick 26-run partnership with Sharrock, but with the prospect of a fantastic century in sight, he finally swung and feathered a slight edge to the wicketkeeper off Sanson (2-42).
At 151-4 with Lance not batting, United were in trouble and could not put together another solid partnership, as Walker was caught in the outfield and then Sharrock lost his stumps, both to Taylor.
At 170-6 with the tail exposed, Zeb Small protected his wicket but lost partners as Lovedeep Randhawa hit a boundary but was then caught off Sanson when he tried again, while Maraki couldn’t make his ground on a third run to be dismissed.
Harpreet Binning was then immediately trapped in front by Taylor, who was mobbed by his teammates.
There was one Whanganui milestone achieved in the match, as local umpire Cliff Tootell officiated his 250th game.
Marton Saracens claim P240 title
On Victoria Park’s No. 4 pitch, Matt Burke Engineering Marton Saracens
did the double and claimed the Cricket Whanganui P240 championship in the final against Wicket Warriors Whanganui.
Having already secured the Combined Twenty20 crown on March 13, the undefeated Saracens won the P240 final by 133 runs after a near-faultless display from their top order and spin-dominated bowling attack.
After openers Thomas Westwood (48) and Chris Rayner (55) had Marton away to a rapid start, veteran Dominic Rayner (73 not out) and Daniel Ford (23) started watchfully but attacked at the end of the innings to raise an imposing 219-4.
Chacko Vadake Paily (2-19) was the pick of the Warriors bowlers.
In reply, the Warriors lost early wickets and could not find an anchor innings from their batsmen, being bowled out for 86 by the 24th over.
Ford (4-8) cleaned up the tail after Brett Cunningham (2-19) and Todd Sutton (2-11) got top and middleorder scalps respectively.
At the Whanganui Collegiate grounds, Wanganui Vet Services Marist 2nd XI didn’t take long in their run chase to wrap up an eight-wicket win over Kaitoke Knight Riders in the P340 final.