Wakatu Gold Vs Wanderers 1st 11 2nd Grade

Wakatu Gold were greeted by the picturesque Brightwater Domain. Wanderers laid it on thick to welcome Wakatu Gold to the ground for what was to be a big match with a finals spot on the line for Wakatu Gold.

Skipper Dustin Emms-Healey called right yet again at the toss and elected to bowl first on a firm deck with the thought in mind that Gold would chase down anything Wanderers could set. This was looking like a pretty stupid decision with the score sitting at 124-0 after 17 overs! Alex Campion (97) and Nathan Geddes (57) loaded up on anything not exactly on the mark. Alex being particularly punishing to any full balls bowled from the steady Spear heads Sachith Pathirana & Jonathan Abrahams. A tight spell from the Young Dragons, Aidan Clark & Riley O'Hara brought things back a bit before drinks (132 - 0)

The first wicket didn't fall untill the 23rd over with the score at 144. Gautim Roy with some fast off spinners doing the trick to remove the destructive Alex, stumped by Laurence Kirdy on 97. His partner in crime Nathan soon followed, Caught by Aiden at deep square to a short ball by Riley. Riley went on the turn the game on its head in his second spell, now bowling with the howling wind at his back. Riley bowled a consistent area just outside off stump on the drive. His patience paid off as he took 4 more wickets in what was his first 5fa for Wakatu! Riley's 5 for 49 off 8 along with Roy's 3-38 off 8, two run outs from the skipper and some sharp keeping from LK was enough see Wanderers all out for 230. A good score but fair on that pitch.

In reply Wakatu were 4-1 with Tom being bowled off stump to a good nut. This brought together two OLD friends Jim Morrison & Dustin Emms-Healey who needed to put on one of their classic partnerships. The pair got to work slowly breaking down the men in Blue & Gold. Dustin leading the way with some lovely cover drives off both the front and back foot, as Jim worked the ball around, frustrating the Wanderers side immensely, and highlighted his innings with some strong straight boundaries. The pair put on 125 together in their 5th 100 run partnership for the club.

When Jim fell for 40 c & b to the off spinner Jeremy, the score was 135 after 24 overs. Bud Jackson (3) came and went but put on a handy 17 runs with the skipper who was still out there. Roy came the the crease and in typical form blazed from the first ball. With his lovely fluid style he made batting look easy out there. Roy and Dustin put on 18 more, and with the game looking pretty much in the bag at 170-3 after 29, the skipper thought it was a good time to throw his wicket away (and a definitely 100) , caught mid wicket to the off spinner for a well compiled 83 off 87.

Things got a little close when Roy fell for 30, but not before he and LK put on 30 more for the 5th wicket. Needing 30 off 36 with 5 wickets in hand, you'd be forgiven for thinking it would be a cake walk, however Wanderers showed their fighting spirit and took another two wickets, that of Richie Wilkinson (6) and William Moloney (0). But never fear.. the staunch matua LK showed he has ice in his veins and led Wakatu Gold home to Glory! Along with Sachith (4) at the other end, LK displayed some lovely Jabs for ones, and finished things off with 3 fours and a six.

A truly awesome win for Wakatu Gold. It would take a major disaster to avoid making the final for the second year in a row now. As Wttu lost across the bay to table topping Motueka.