As their end of season prizegiving was cancelled, the Whanganui Chronicle is continuing its spotlight on Cricket Wanganui's junior representative teams. Today is the Year 6 side.

The LJ Hooker Wanganui Year 6 team has really enjoyed their season, as while results didn't quite go their way, every player achieved something they hadn't before at this level.

Under coach Mark Lithgow, the first games were at the Riverbend tournament in Napier in January, starting against a Western Bay of Plenty side, who won the toss and chose to bat.

The bowlers were soon put under pressure by an outstanding batting line up.


William Revell bowled well with 1-8 while Zac Burne had 1-13, as Western finished with 176-6.

In reply, Wanganui were in all sorts of trouble at 34-8 until Hunter Lithgow (38 not out) and Oscar Butcher (17) put on a rearguard worth over 50 runs, before their side was bowled out for 101.

Havelock North were the next opponents and also had some fine batsmen.

Early on, Havelock looked like they would go past 200, but some tight bowling from Butcher (1-9) and Logan McKerras (1-18) put the brakes on to restrict them to 184.

Early wickets were again an issue in Wanganui's chase, coming up well short, but Mark Lithgow said Daniel Transom showed some real guts and grit with the bat, heading into their next game that afternoon with one of the two teams from the Auckland University club.

Auckland University have seven teams at Year 6 level from which to pick their tournament sides, and after winning the toss, Wanganui made steady progress to reach 103-9, anchored by a graceful innings of 27 from Hamish Cranstone.

Lithgow said the side's top pace bowlers came out firing and the fielders were right behind them, snaffling all six catches that came their way.

The great effort saw University restricted to 82, with Revell getting 3-10, Matthew Smith 2-6 and McKerras 2-9 as the chief destroyers.


Now the squad had some confidence heading into the next game against Auckland's Grafton team, who nonetheless got off to a rocketing start at 57-2 after eight overs.

Wanganui pulled it back through the golden arm of Harry Jurgens, who came on and got three wickets in four balls, even breaking a bail with an excellent off cutter.

Grafton were dismisssed for 134, with Jurgens 3-6 and Andrew George 2-9 the best of the bowlers.

In reply, Wanganui lost wickets on a regular basis to be 78-8, before Smith (20 not out) and George (34) put together a fine partnership.

But they just weren't able to get over the line, the chase finishing 14 runs short.

The next match was against the other Auckland University team, who batted first with some classy players - making Wanganui hang tough as they reached 185-7.

Hunter Lithgow was best of the bowlers with 2-13.

Mark Lithgow said Wanganui was never in the hunt to reach the target, although they at least managed to bat out the 30 overs against a formidable set of bowlers, with Smith making a stylish 23.

The last match of the tournament was against the unbeaten Parnell CC from Auckland,

Wanganui won the toss and batted, as Jackson Belliss played some fine shots to get them off to a good start before Hunter Lithgow (33 not out) took them to a total of 126.

The bowling and fielding was very good and put Parnell under more pressure than they were expecting, as Liam Meijer took a vital wicket to have them teetering at 85-6.

However, in a very tense finish, Parnell prevailed with 11 balls to spare.

The last two representative games of the season were home and away fixtures against Horewhenua Kapiti Year 6, with the honours being shared one apiece.

Horowhenua Kapit won the first match at Marton's Centennial Park, scoring 161 while restricting Wanganui to 153.

In the chase, Hunter Lithgow got 23 and McKerras 20, while earlier Meijer had bowled superbly with 2-6.

The return game in Levin saw Horowhenua Kapiti off to a flying start with the bat, reaching 90 off the first 15 overs.

However, the Wanganui team really picked up the fielding performance in the last 20 overs, restricting the home side to 197 from their 35 over innings.

Best of the bowlers were Belliss 1-18 and McKerras 1-16.

Mark Lithgow said Wanganui started as if they had a train to catch, reaching 128 off their first 15 overs.

Ethan Toy with 32 retired and McKeras 27 retired took a liking to the Horowhena Kapiti bowling.

Horowhenua-Kapiti tightened up their line and length in the second half of the innings, but Burne 32 retired and Revell 25 retired kept the run rate up.

Wanganui reached their target in the 30th over for a convincing win and great finish to the season.

"All in all, a great experience for our young Year 6 team this year with all chipping in at various times," said Mark Lithgow.

"Thanks to all the team's great support."

Batting: Matt Smith

Bowling: Harry Jurgens

Most Improved: Oscar Butcher

Most Valuable: Logan McKerras