It was a day where young and old shone when the South Canterbury senior one-day cricket competition had its first round of the new year.
Timaru shocked Temuka by five wickets, on Saturday, while a half century from a new face in Celtic helped them to a six wicket win over Roncalli. Waimate kept finding ways to win, with a three-wicket win over an out-of-sorts Star.
Timaru broke through for a much-needed victory, as they proved they could match it with any team in limited-overs cricket.
Their win at Ashbury Park halted Temuka’s momentum towards a finals berth, as the home side timed their chase for 193 to perfection, with 12 balls to spare.
In a season where senior players have struggled to consistently make contributions, Srinivas KS proved he was the most influential player in the team.
The Indian-born club professional hit 85 not out to back up captain Hayden Butler’s four for 34 with the ball.
Temuka gradually increased the run rate through their innings, on the artificial pitch, but the early loss of wickets stalled their momentum.
Opener David Fisher struck 39, but when he was dismissed at 79 for four, Temuka had to start again. Hayden Broker came in and hit 39 of his own, and he found support from Tom McKnight, who found the boundary rope in the later overs. The pair combined for a 68-run seventh-wicket stand.
Timaru were guilty of conceding 38 extras, including 25 wides.
Left-arm spinner Zane Sanders took two wickets.
Srinvas KS manipulated the fielders well in his chase, taking quick singles and numerous twos.
He struck just four boundaries, but was there at the end to see his side home. Sanders struck 31 before giving his wicket away, swinging wildly, while Logan Taylor combined with Srinivas KS for a 52-run unbroken partnership to pass the target.
Star’s batting woes continued, as they struggled to gain any traction at Knottingly Park, against Waimate.
Todd Elliotte made an impact for Star, with both bat and ball, but he lacked support.
The former South Canterbury captain opened the batting and hit an innings-high of 43.
He had some support from George Harper as the pair put on 46 for the third wicket, but when Harper departed on 23, the other batsman could not keep their wickets in tact.
Star’s usual opening batsman, Simon Ward, did find a glimmer of form in making 28.
Waimate’s bowling was tight, and they exploited their advantage of bowling first, in damp conditions.
The off-spin of Rahul Save took three for 29, from nine overs, while Alan Reid took two for 24, and Murray Prattley took two wickets in three overs.
Star stumbled to 145 all out in the 43rd over.
Waimate’s chase started disastrously, with Jeremy Lane picking up both Waimate openers, with just 26 on the scoreboard.
Fellow bowlers showed more support than batsmen, Elliotte and Tom Debney capturing wickets to have the home side slumped at 71 for five.
It took a captain’s knock from Jason Sew Hoy to steer his team home.
He was joined by his brother, Nathan, and the pair began to chip away at Star’s total.
Eventually, Nathan departed for 21, giving Lane his third wicket, on his way to a four-wicket haul.
However, the brothers’ six-wicket stand of 47 was enough to give them the points, and the prospect of a finals spot.
Jason Sew Hoy said they were more eager than Star with the bat, and he was pleased to bat with his brother, to set up the win.
“We batted better, we paced the innings, and we ran quick singles a lot more than they did.”
Star captain Phil McGregor said they were in the hunt for most of the match, but Elliotte’s effort was a lone hand.
Celtic used the bowler-friendly conditions at Rockdale Rd to dominate Roncalli for a six wicket win.
The middle-order let Roncalli down, after a 72-run opening stand between Ben Simpson and Tom Pavletich.
Celtic’s Ants de Joux bowled tightly, his spinners netting him three wickets all leg-before-wicket.
Roncalli went from 106 for two, to being all out for 148, with captain Naylor left stranded on 35.
Matt and Daniel Dorgan did their best with the ball for Roncalli, as they got rid of the top three batsmen early.
Though he lost, James Laming for eight, as he returned to cricket from a hand injury, Wright found support from Tutton, who thwarted Roncalli with the bat, just like he did the ball.
He made 28 not out and supported Wright who had contributed 71, as the pair reached the total with 15 overs to spare.