Greytown opener Tim Lucas set the standard as Wairarapa reached a respectable 190 in the first innings of their Hawke Cup qualifying cricket match with Wanganui at Queen Elizabeth Park oval in Masterton on Saturday.
Lucas was a model of grit and determination in his knock of 64, which came off 180 balls and included just three boundaries. His third-wicket partnership with Alex Treseder (13) was worth 46 runs and when Treseder was run out Lucas and Rathkeale College student Harry Clinton-Baker put on 38 runs for the fourth wicket.
The only other knock of any substance for Wairarapa came from selector-coach Sam Curtis, who was drafted into the side at the eleventh hour when skipper Henry Cameron failed a fitness test after injuring a knee at work on Friday.
Curtis came in at number seven and his 46 was scored off 83 balls and he struck four fours.
Wairarapa made their 190 in 85 overs, a scoring rate which would normally be regarded as pedestrian but one which actually wasn't too bad considering the slowness of the outfield.
Curtis was "pretty happy" with the improved application shown by most of the Wairarapa batsmen against a steady Wanganui attack.
"We talked a lot about making the bowlers work for their wickets and while there were still some soft dismissals it was definitely a better effort," he said.
And Curtis praised the state of the park oval pitch, saying that while the bounce was a little slower than usual, it provided an excellent batting surface.
The battle for first innings points was nicely poised at stumps on the first day with Wanganui at 91-2, medium pacers Daniel Haxton and Jared Watt having picked up a wicket apiece for Wairarapa.
Short scoreboard: Wairarapa 190 (Deans 6, Lucas 64, Hull 2, Treseder 13, Clinton-Baker 21, Watt 2, Curtis 46, Wells 7, Jarvis 2, Patel 11, Haxton 0, extra 16; Blundell 2-33, Rayner 1-27, Turner 0-20, Lock 2-22, Henry 0-2, Collier 1-45, Fraser 1-26, Halbert 1-11), Wanganui 91-2 (Carroll 14, Collier 22, Smith 35 not out, McCaa 9 not out, extras 11; Watt 1-21, Hook 0-17, Haxton 1-29, Jarvis 0-10, Wells 0-6, Patel 0-6).
Meanwhile, Lansdowne scored a nine-wicket win over Newbolds Marist Old Boys in their Umpires Cup match played at the Park Sportsground.
Marist Old Boys batted first and they were all out for 60, the only batsmen to reach double figures being Ryan Hardman (14) and Jason Paku (11). Mark Goodin claimed five wickets for Lansdowne which hit up the winning runs for the loss of just one wicket. Leighton Calkin was unbeaten on 40.
And there was an exciting finish to the Umpire's Cup match between Red Star and Kuranui Old Boys with Red Star scoring the winning runs on the second-last ball of the day's play.
Serge Montgomery (47) and Sanjay Patel (49) top scored as Kuranui Old Boys reached 178 and Chris Wenden with 60 was the major contributor with the bat for Red Star who were nine wickets down when victory was achieved.
Marist Old Boys seconds beat Wairarapa College Colts by five wickets in an open-grade fixture. Wairarapa College made 134 with Sam Biyne top scoring with 33 and Marist Old Boys reached their target in 28 overs, thanks to useful knocks from Greg Dennes-Wilson (30), Adam Stephen (28) and Colin Jones (25 not out).