The all-round efforts of Timaru’s Zane Sanders were enough to ensure Celtic would suffer their first loss of the season after falling by 11 runs in their Senior Twenty20 cricket match at Aorangi Oval last night.
Sanders hit 48 not out with the bat after coming in at 39 for 3 before taking 3 for 21 from four overs with his spinners.
Timaru’s early batting wobbles were thanks mostly to Celtic veteran Grant Watt who got two early scalps.
Timaru Boys’ High School player Josh Dick was left to steer Timaru through the turbulent opening period. Dick combined for a 38-run fourth wicket partnership with Sanders.
Dick’s confidence increased to the point where he hit a six off spinner Craig Davies, but the Celtic captain eventually got his man, when Dick looked to play an expansive shot but only managed to bottom edge the ball back on to his stumps, for 31.
Logan Taylor joined Sanders and the pair continued the hard work. Celtic set good fields and boundaries were initially hard to come by.
Timaru’s innings had been travelling at five runs an over until Davies’ final over. His last and the 16th of the innings, went for 17, as Taylor took to him with some big hitting. Taylor departed in the final over for 25, and a lusty six from Jordan Morrow from the second to-last-ball, meant Sanders had no chance for a half-century.
Timaru finished on 148 for 5. Watt was the pick of the bowlers with his early spell of 2 for 22, while wicket-keeper Willie Wright took three catches including a smart catch off the inside-edge from Taylor’s bat from the bowling of James Blackstock.
Blackstock finished with 2 for 29.
Celtic’s innings started ominously with Wright and Glenn Matthews removed for just 10 and 0 respectively.
From 15 for 2, Davies and Mark Tutton set about rectifying the innings with a good mix of boundary hitting and quick running between the wickets.
Tutton played the dominant hand in the partnership, as Celtic cruised along at better than seven runs an over despite the early hiccups.
The introduction of Josh Smallridge removed Tutton for a well-compiled 41, and when he had his second wicket just five runs later, Timaru had a sniff.
The ground-fielding was excellent from Timaru but their catching was disappointingly below standard.
With Davies still at the crease, Celtic were a good chance of victory.
They needed 45 runs off the last five overs.
Unfortunately for Celtic, Davies only lasted a couple of deliveries of the 16th over before being caught off the bowling of Smallridge for 36.
The runs dried up for a couple of overs, and despite quick-fire innings’ from stand-ins Shane Richardson (15) and Neil de Joux (18 not out), Celtic could not revive their floundering run-rate in time to get 20 runs off the final over, eventually ending on 137 for 6 from their 20 overs
Smallridge finished with 3 for 28 from his 4 overs, his spell in the middle overs proving the turning point.