Waimea Toi Toi United's bowlers administered death by strangulation to deliver Wakatu a 38-run loss in yesterday's Kelvin Scoble Trophy one-day cricket final.
Robbie's Bar and Bistro WTTU had already carried a healthy mindset into the contest following Saturday's decisive 121-run Nelson one-day championship win over Brewer's Bar Wakatu at Victory Square. They never let up yesterday at Saxton Oval, applying constant pressure throughout Wakatu's run chase after setting them a competitive 240-run target.
Greg Hay backed up Saturday's century (103) to topscore with 62 runs in WTTU's total of 239 for seven. Then WTTU's bowlers took over, stifling Wakatu's early run chase until the asking rate became unmanageable and ultimately unachievable.
They at least saved themselves the ignominy of total collapse as tailenders Dave Riordan and Hadley Peterson combined in an unbroken 39-run final wicket stand as Wakatu limped through to 201 for nine at the finish, still well short of their target.
WTTU's win saw them add the one-day trophy to the Nelson two-day championship title they had won earlier in the season.
They made the best possible start yesterday as loose Wakatu bowling and some positive early batting by openers Craig Ingham and skipper Jon Routhan saw WTTU's score catapult to 56 off the first seven overs, including 12 wides.
The pair added 83 runs for the first wicket before Ingham finally went for 35, lapping a ball from Kelvin Scoble to backward square leg. Routhan scored 44 runs, both batsmen hitting six fours, before Scoble struck again, signalling a period of control by Wakatu's bowlers as Scoble and Greg Du Feu steadily began to restrict the flow of runs.
The pair bowled effectively in tandem, Du Feu eventually conceding 21 runs off his 10 overs, including the only three maidens of the innings and the valuable wicket of Ricky Edwards, trapped lbw for one. Scoble went for just 23, including the scalps of both openers.
Hay batted patiently through the middle stages, content to pick up runs and steadily build partnerships. He added 39 with Mason Thelin (21) for the fourth wicket and a further 54 with Cade Armstrong (31) for the fifth before Hay was finally out, playing on to a delivery by Riordan with the total at 206 for five. Hay faced 82 balls and hit four boundaries, leaving WTTU's lower order to add a further 33 runs before the innings' conclusion.
Wakatu's efforts weren't helped in the field by four dropped catches and two missed runout opportunities from feeble throws.
By contrast, WTTU's bowlers were tight from the outset as Sam Baxendine and Routhan effectively tied down Wakatu's top order.
Richie Wilkinson (8), Cam Neynens (2) and Giles Black (15) all went with only 33 runs on the board before Matt Macquet began to play a more assertive role in a 31-run fourth wicket partnership with Campbell McLean (8).
Shane Laurence (17) also adopted a positive approach, although the slow early progress was beginning to take its toll in terms of an escalating asking rate and mounting pressure.
When Macquet finally went for a well-compiled 52, lobbing a comfortable top edge off Routhan to Thelin at point, there seemed little prospect of Wakatu resurrecting the innings. Macquet faced 68 balls and hit four fours and two huge sixes over midwicket.
Laurence Kirdy hung around, although his 27 runs off 62 balls illustrated WTTU's tightening grip on the contest.
Riordan and Peterson were still there at the end, Riordan finishing 21 not out and Peterson 19 not out, as Sam Baxendine (2-21), Routhan (2-41) and left arm spinner Dan Wightman (2-42) each finished with two wickets.
Offspinner Hay also bowled tidily, conceding 39 runs for his solitary wicket as he, Wightman and Routhan were the only three bowlers to complete their 10- over spells.
- The Nelson Mail