The LJ Hooker Year 4/5 Whanganui cricket team, the city's youngest representative cricket team, have gone through the annual Hawke's Bay age group cricket camp at Riverbend
They played and won all four matches in Napier last week improving with each game as the tournament progressed.
The first match was against Western Bay of Plenty where Whanganui won the toss and elected to bowl.
Ethan Toy and Hugo Kennedy opened the bowling and claimed early wickets. The fielding kept the run rate down and wickets were taken at regular intervals to restrict BOP to 106 in their 30 overs. Hunter Lithgow was the best of the bowlers with 2/4.
In the second innings Thomas McMurray got the chase off to a flying start with an elegant 22, however wickets were lost consistently leaving Whanganui at 101 for 9. Joey Keenan, the only Year 3 on the field, kept out some good bowling before Lithgow was able to pull a ball through mid wicket for a boundary and the victory. Lithgow made 34 not out.
Next up was Upper Hutt when Wanganui lost the toss and were put into bat.
They were three down quickly before Kennedy and McMurray put together a fine 50 run stand followed by a quick fire 21 from hard-hitting Hamish Robertson at the end allowed Whanganui to make 141. McMurray top scored with 25no.
Some tight bowling from Matthew Bell (2/5) and Kyan Hoekstra (2/12) put the pressure on Upper Hutt early and the required run rate climbed. They say catches win matches with the Whanganui boys taking six fine catches during the innings. Upper Hutt were bundled out for 121.
Brooklyn were Whanganui's next opponents.
Batting first Finn Cairncross and Blayke Greenem put on an outstanding 56 for the first wicket stand followed by a stylish 17 from Alan Chacko. Lithgow (27no) and Kennedy (25no) finished the innings off to set an imposing total of 163.
Aggressive opening bowling by Jed Whiteman halted any early run chase with Brooklyn limping along to 118 off there 30 overs.
The Whanganui team were full of confidence going in to their final match against Central Hawke's Bay and it showed. Batting first everyone got involved setting a run rate of over seven an over, eventually reaching 213/5 with Cairncross (25ret) McMurray (25ret) and Lithgow (31ret) top scoring.
Kennedy opened the bowling with his lethal leggies taking a wicket off the first ball and Chacko taking two wickets in his opening spell. At 3/3 it was an up hill struggle for CHB. Bell also bowled a great spell with 2/5 rounding out a fine all round game and Keenan mixed up pace with spin to confuse the batsmen with 2/10.
This was an outstanding tournament for the team with all players contributing throughout the tournament.