Timaru were the only team to gain an outright victory in the latest round of the Tweedy Cup moving them ahead of Temuka and Geraldine to the top of the table as teams return to one day matches until after Christmas.Although Timaru looked in trouble at the start of the day 7 wickets down and still 50 runs in arrears, Avon Proctor and Hayden Leonard had other ideas as they added 116 runs for the 8th wicket. Although Leonard fell one short of another half century it was Proctor’s day as he scored his highest senior score of 81 in only his second senior innings in 8 years.
Tim Mackle with 30 not out and Chris Leonard ensured the tail dragged and eventually Timaru were all out for 308 doubling their score from the start of the day.
Temuka’s second innings progressed steadily but unfortunately wickets also fell steadily as they tried to bat the day out and deny Timaru outright points and keep themselves near the top of the leader board. Although seven batsmen managed to get into double figures, only Hayden Broker with 45 and Robbie Histen 32 not out really went on, while Kris Howes with 5-30 and Zane Sanders with 4-53 were well rewarded for their bowling efforts (and aided by some great slip catching by wily old campaigner Chris Leonard, whom my spy tells me hasn’t been as reliable this season) as Temuka’s second innings finished with their total at 190.
Set a target of 84 to win from only 13 overs Timaru re-arranged the batting order with Zane Sanders joining Hayden Butler (8) in an opener’s role. It paid off as Sanders scored a quick 25 and then Howes added 23 before Kane Whiteley unbeaten on 22 saw Timaru home with 2 balls to spare to claim outright points.
The Star versus Waimate match also went down to the wire after Star declared their second innings closed and left Waimate the mammoth task of scoring 284 runs to win at a run rate of 5.68 per over or more importantly to try and bat 50 overs to save an honourable draw.
Waimate were soon in trouble as wickets fell in pairs and after being 29-3 then lost 3 more wickets in the seventies to be 77-7 before Nathan Sheppard and Jason SewHoy began a long fightback as they tried to see out the overs. The loss of Sheppard changed little as Matt SewHoy (14 not out) joined his older brother and between them saw out the last hour without losing another wicket to deny Star an outright victory. Along the way Jason with 28 not out reached his highest senior score, but also batted for more than 20 overs to defy the bowlers.
For Star Mark Evans was again on song picking up 4-22 from 11 overs, but after being reintroduced alongside Craig Hinton in an effort to finish Waimate off. Hinto (2-25) had earlier picked up an unusual hat trick by taking a wicket with his first delivery after previously finishing the Waimate 1st innings with 2 wickets in two balls.
Despite numerous appeals for lbw (which are always hard to get with player/umpires) Star couldn’t break the ninth wicket partnership and the match ended with Waimate on a precarious 134-8 and Star only getting first innings points.
At Rockdale Rd Celtic were prepared for a day in the field as they tried for an outright result after having declared on 349-7 on the first day, and although they eventually dismissed Geraldine for 214 allowing them to enforce the follow on, it took a long time (82 overs) thus eating well into the days allowance.
Young English professional Matt Barnes batted well for 42 while fellow Englishmen Chris Esh chimed in with 32 and Ben Millar showed his all round class with 41 before being run out. Asked to bat a second time the match looked to be heading for a draw as Geraldine again had built a sound platform at 60-1 with Millar 25 not out and Barnes 35 not out at the crease and looking comfortable with 16 overs left in the day’s play.