The rain which saved Unreal Grass Wicket Wanganui against Hawke's Bay in the Furlong Cup a fortnight ago also thwarted their comeback against Wairarapa in Masterton today.
Having shot themselves in the foot with a poor run chase to finish 38 runs shy of the home side's gettable 181 at Queen Elizabeth Park yesterday, while knowing today would likely be rained out, Wanganui's bowlers came back furiously to wreck Wairarapa in the 42 overs they had available.
Getting them all out for 98 and trailing by just 136, Wanganui started again as quickly as possible but at 6-0 after two overs, the rain that was bucketing the country had the sides come off again around 4.35pm and this time they wouldn't be coming back.
A match that was there for the taking was lost on first innings points, again bringing Wanganui's first batting effort back into sharp focus, where less than a handful of batsmen, again led by allrounder Akash Gill scoring 67, were able to construct an innings before getting out.
Knowing the play yesterday would be decisive on the whole match, Wanganui bowled out the home side for 181, striking back after openers John Mckenzie (37) and Robbie Anderson (36) had comfortably raised a 50-run partnership in the first 15 overs.
Mckenzie lost his stumps to Connor O'Leary, playing solely as a bowler, and then Ross Kinnerley (6-47) again ripped through another brittle lineup with his swing bowling.
The in-form Brock Price, who played well against Wanganui in both formats at Chapple Cup, anchored his side with 43, but had little help until veteran Gordon Reisima (29) joined him, having been a thorn in the side of the visitors before.
But having led a recovery at 166-5, Price and Reisima both fell to the Kinnerley brothers, as Fraser (2-32) joined Ross in cleaning up the lower order for just 15 more runs in the 56th over.
There was time for Wanganui to either reach the target or bat out the day to be close to it and hope to get in a handful of overs the following day to secure first innings.
But Greg Smith fell first ball to a catch off Stefan Hook (3-38) and partner Dominic Rayner was not far behind him after being trapped in front by Ethan Childs.
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Having batted well in the Twenty20 game with Wairarapa, Sam Sheriff started well but gave up a catch off Peter Sigvertsen (2-30) to leave his side in the doldrums at 31-3.
That brought together the leading hopes in Gill and Central Districts professional Ben Smith (27 off 25), with Smith going on the attack with five boundaries in quick time.
Yet although the runs were coming in quick order, concentration couldn't be let down for a moment, and Wairarapa's Quinn Childs (4-23) was in an exploitive move with a devastating eight over spell.
Smith's departure to a catch was followed by the returning Mark Fraser coming and going for a costly duck.
From 69-5, skipper Dominic Lock (24) came in and held down the fort for 66 deliveries, hoping Gill had his eye in, and the young allrounder was delivering with seven boundaries and two sixes.
But again, at 124-5 with momentum back on Wanganui's side, Gill was trapped in front by Sigvertsen, and then like the Smith's and Fraser, another prove match-winner of the past for Wanganui in Ross Kinnerley departed in single figures with a catch off Hook.
Two balls later, Chris Sharrock was gone when Hook had him in front, and player-coach Vikum Sanjaya came in to hit a boundary and then chip one straight back to Quinn Childs in the next over.
It was all down to Lock and Fraser Kinnerley, with 39 runs required looking like a mountain, and they would add only one more run over two more overs before Lock was the third batsmen trapped in front, with Childs getting his 4-for after just 42 overs.
The weather meant a later start today, with Wairarapa confident the rain would intercede permanently at any moment, but after 35 overs before a late lunch they had already lost seven wickets for just 70-odd runs.
Ross Kinnerley (3-9) had Mckenzie in the opening over, and while Anderson (13) and a promoted Hook (14) looked to hang around, Anderson was cleaned up by Sanjaya and Hook watched a steady stream of partners depart as Ben Smith (4-10) was introduced with his effective spin bowling.
Price (28) as usual, held the line, hitting three boundaries to build on their lead, even if his team would be dismissed instead of batting out the afternoon.
But he was trapped in front by Kinnerley, and then after a delay for rain in the 20th over, Jaco Vorster and Jack Forrester were gone at the hands of the rampant Kinnerley and Smith, and Hook was also caught by Smith off his own bowling after surviving 91 deliveries.
Again, Reisima was asked to salvage the innings, but Smith trapped him in front for 67-7 heading into the lunch break.
Smith then got Jake Jonas off a Ross Kinnerley catch straight after the resumption, and with the weather setting in, Gus Borren survived 41 deliveries, but would eventually lose both the Childs brothers in Quinn and Ethan, who were polished off by Fraser Kinnerley (2-21) in the 47th over.
Yet it proved to just be long enough, as despite Greg Smith and Dominic Rayner heading back out quickly to chase 137 to win, with Smith hitting Ethan Childs for a boundary, Wanganui had run out of time.
Wairarapa 1st innings
John Mckenzie b C O'Leary 37
Robbie Anderson ct F Kinnerley b R Kinnerley 36
Jake Jonas ct Dominic Lock b A Gill 0
Brock Price b R Kinnerley 43
Jaco Vorster lbw R Kinnerley 1
Jack Forrester b R Kinnerley 6
Gordon Reisima ct A Gill b F Kinnerley 29
Stefan Hook lbw R Kinnerley 0
Gus Borren ct V Sanjaya b R Kinnerley 9
Ethan Childs ct D Rayner b F Kinnerley 2
Quinn Childs not out 2
Total: 181 (55.5 overs).
Bowling: Ross Kinnerley 18 overs 5 maidens 47 runs 6 wickets; Vikum Sanjaya 9-1-38-0; Akash Gill 10-7-6-1; Connor O'Leary 6-1-30-1; Chris Sharrock 2-0-15-0; Fraser Kinnerley 11-3-32-2.
Wanganui 1st innings
Greg Smith ct Q Childs b S Hook 0
Dominic Rayner lbw E Childs 2
Sam Sheriff ct B Price b P Sigvertsen 11
Akash Gill lbw P Sigvertsen 67
Ben Smith ct J Forrester b Q Childs 27
Mark Fraser b Q Childs 0
Dominic Lock lbw Q Childs 24
Ross Kinnerley ct G Reisima b S Hook 2
Chris Sharrock lbw S Hook 0
Vikum Sanjaya c&b Q Childs 4
Fraser Kinnerley not out 0
Total 143 (42 overs).
Bowling: Stefan Hook 13-1-38-3; Ethan Childs 7-0-29-1; Peter Sigvertsen 9-0-30-2; Quinn Childs 8-2-23-4; Brock Price 5-0-17-0.
Wairarapa 2nd innings
John Mckenzie b R Kinnerley 0
Robbie Anderson c F Kinnerley b V Sanjaya 13
Stefan Hook c&b B Smith 14
Brock Price lbw R Kinnerley 28
Jaco Vorster ct S Sheriff b R Kinnerley 1
Jack Forrester ct D Rayner b B Smith 3
Gordon Reisima lbw B Smith 3
Jake Jonas ct R Kinnerley b B Smith 7
Gus Borren not out 6
Ethan Childs ct M Fraser b F Kinnerley 13
Quinn Childs b F Kinnerley 4
Total 98 (47 overs).
Bowling: Ross Kinnerley 11-5-9-3; Connor O'Leary 13-4-24-0; Vikum Sanjaya 4-0-23-1; Fraser Kinnerley 8-2-21-2; Ben Smith 8-5-10-4; Chris Sharrock 3-0-6-0.
Wanganui 2nd innings
Greg Smith 4 not out
Dominic Rayner 0 not out
Total: 6-0 (2 overs). Off for rain.
Bowling: Stefan Hook 1-0-1-0; Ethan Childs 1-0-5-0.
Result: Draw, Wairarapa win first innings points.