Waimate have their best chance in 40 years at winning the Tweedy Cup two-day cricket competition today.
Standing between them and their first title are Star, who will be searching for the two-day crown after a six year drought.
Waimate’s laid-back approach to their cricket has paid dividends this season, with the team being runners-up in the one-day competition, and top qualifiers for today’s final at Aorangi Oval.
Star captain Phil McGregor said their unpredictable nature made them hard to prepare for.
“You just don’t know what side is going to turn up some weekends.”
Star showed early-season promise with key outright wins in the opening rounds, including an innings and 79-run win over Waimate, which helped propel them to this point.
McGregor was happy to accept his side was more structured and “conventional” in the way they played their cricket than Waimate.
Ironically, it was an under-strength Waimate side who ensured Star would face them today, after they denied Celtic an outright win last weekend to keep the defending champions out of the final.
McGregor and Waimate captain Jason Sew Hoy agreed batting long periods would be a key factor.
“It’s all about batting time and building partnerships, especially with Hawke Cup rules.”
Sew Hoy denied the suggestion the big-hitting style of his top-order would make occupying the crease a challenge, in a match where the first innings would be crucial.
“Me and (Glen Drake) proved last week we could bat time [against Celtic] because we needed to and I’m sure we could do it again.”
McGregor was coy on the tactics his team would look to use, but using the new-ball attack of Jeremy Lane and spearhead Craig Hinton, to take early wickets and dent Waimate’s confidence, was on the cards.
“To be fair, there is always the chance that you could pick up a few quick wickets, and put Waimate under pressure.”
Sew Hoy said they were keen to bat around Drake.
“He has every shot in the book, and he’s really talented,” Sew Hoy said.
“We are happy with the way our batting line-up is performing.
Waimate will also rely heavily on Alan Reid, who is the season’s leading wicket-taker, and also opens the batting.
Sew Hoy said Reid’s “workhorse” attitude to the game would prove to be valuable.
Matthew Sew Hoy is another capable of denting the Star top-order.
Jason Sew Hoy said Star had a consistent batting line-up but they did not have anyone who he feared.
“They can all bat pretty well, but I don’t think they have any batsmen who can take the game away from us real quick.”
McGregor said he would look to lead from the front and be the man his side would look to bat around.
His patient mind-set was the opposite of fellow-batsmen Alex McKenzie and Todd Elliotte.
Both are capable of scoring runs quickly if they get a start.
McGregor said a win would be sweet.
“It would be something pretty special,” he said. “It was a goal at the start of the season to get some silverware and to achieve that would mean a lot.”
Half the team who lost their last Tweedy Cup final against Geraldine, will be looking to avenge those memories.
Sew Hoy was typically relaxed about the result: “We’ll go out there, have some fun, and see what happens,” he said.
The first ball is bowled at 10.30am.