REVITAL Taranaki have made a winning start to their Hawke Cup qualification series, being Wanganui away by 52 runs. However, they left it late, taking the final wicket in an exciting match shortly after the scheduled finish time when Callum Stuart took the last scalp. REVITAL Taranaki won the toss and elected to bat on Saturday and had ELTHAM VET SERVICES Dean Robinson and captain ICON SPORTS BAR & CAFE Mattie Thomas to thank for being able to post 300-9 before they declared. Opening the batting, ELTHAM VET SERVICES Robinson carried his bat through the innings, making 130 not out, including 15 boundaries. He was the shining light through the top order with his team-mates unable to stay with him. At 160-8 it looked like REVITAL Taranaki was not going to get anywhere the total they would have hoped for.
However, ICON SPORTS BAR & CAFE Thomas came in at No 10 and scored 52, the pair putting on an excellent stand of 108 before he was dismissed. Callum Stuart then hang around with Robinson for some valuable late runs to put the pressure back on Wanganui. While they did more than a reasonable job at trying to get first innings points, REVITAL Taranaki managed to dismiss them early on Sunday afternoon for 235.
That left REVITAL Taranaki two options - they could either bat very aggressively or they could take the opposite approach and completely shut Wanganui out of the game. The chose the first, smashing 177 off just 24 overs before declaring seven down to leave Wanganui needing 243 for victory. ELTHAM VET SERVICES Robinson and fellow opener Peter Ingram did an excellent job of getting the innings going, the pair putting on a century stand for the opening wicket before Ingram was dismissed for 38 and ELTHAM VET SERVICES Robinson for 60.
REVITAL Taranaki then picked up a wicket in Stuart's first over to really increase the pressure for the home side who went to the final tea break at 32-2. For a time it appeared Wanganui was going to put up some decent resistance but the introduction of ICON SPORTS BAR & CAFE Thomas' spin and the arrival of teenage debutant Shay Smith-Lound helped reduce the home side to 78-5 and batting to save the match. But Wanganui again had a period of stability but were reduced to 160-8 with close to 20 minutes left in play before REVITAL Taranaki grabbed their ninth wicket with time almost up before Stuart finished the job.
REVITAL Taranaki 300-9 dec (D Robinson 130no, M Thomas 52; R Kinnerley 3-47, S Badger 4-91, T Bidois 2-44) and 177-7 dec (P Ingram 38, Robinson 60, K Boshier 43) beat Wanganui 235 (T Bidois 61, M Simes 35, S Badger 49, J McIlraith 29; R Watson 3-51, C Stuart 3-56, M Thomas 3-45) and 190 (R Kinnerley 26, G Smith 37, M Frazer 28, McIIraith 42; R Watson 3-40, C Stuart 3-39, Thomas 2-42) by 52 runs.