Temuka batsman Willie Stone, one of South Canterbury cricket’s characters, finally cracked his maiden senior ton on the opening day of the two-day competition on Saturday.
For many years, the Magpie batsman has largely kept his place in the senior side because of his passion and enthusiasm for the game and his club, rather than his ability to make big scores, but he made 103 against Star at his beloved Temuka Oval.
While his innings would not have been as pleasing to the eye as Timaru’s Sri Lankan import Prabodha Arthavidu’s stunning 148 not out against Waimate at Ashbury Park 4, the fact Stone made it to a century is well deserved.
His innings at the top of the order held together Temuka’s first innings of 254 for nine declared after the 60-over compulsory declaration.
Englishman Curtly Slatter made 44, while stalwart Hayden Broker added 30 to be the other main contributors around Stone.
Hamish Dickson was the pick of the Star bowlers with three for 39 from 15 overs, while Terry McErlain snared two for 14 in his return to senior cricket.
In reply, Star stuttered their way to 129 for five at stumps, with Danny Campbell holding their innings together with an unbeaten 48.
An unbeaten partnership between Arthavidu and Tim Mackle (48 not out) earned Timaru first-innings points against a depleted Waimate.
Arthavidu was in sublime form after surviving a caught behind appeal when he was on 15 which the Waimate players were adamant had found the edge.
Batting was initially tough, with Timaru on 99 for five after 40 overs, thanks largely to Waimate captain Glen Drake’s left- arm spin.
However, in the last 20 overs, the Timaru pair went at more than seven runs an over, with Arthavidu ruthless on any delivery that drifted into his pads and Mackle producing another battling knock in steady support. Drake deserved a five-wicket bag for his 29-over effort but had to settle for four for 114.
Waimate’s chase started quickly with Nathan Sew Hoy blasting a quick 35 but once he was dismissed, wickets fell at regular intervals as Drake (68) tried to hold things together with the bat much like he did with the ball.
It was the accurate medium pace of Sam Porter which proved too much to handle for Waimate, with Porter producing figures of five for 29 as Waimate were skittled for 151 inside 38 overs. Timaru are five without loss in their second innings, a lead of 104 runs.
Celtic gained first-innings points over Roncalli/Celtic with another top all-round effort from Dan Laming.
He made 77 with the bat when he came in with his side in trouble at 17 for two and then took the last four wickets of the Roncalli/Celtic innings to restrict them to 150 when they were 140 for six.
Adam Beck was the pick of the Roncalli/Celtic players as he took two wickets with the ball and top- scored with 38.
Celtic are 28 for one in their second innings, a lead of 98 runs.