Josh Smallridge scored 51 for Timaru in the latest senior Twenty20 round with the win keeping his team in second place.
Winning the toss and deciding to bat first on a 36 degrees Celsius Friday evening at Ashbury Park, Timaru lost both openers out to Nick O’Brien with 17 on the board, and shortly after went to 33-3 before Josh Dick was joined by Smallridge, and together the Joshs added 70 runs in quick time.
Smallridge was the dominant partner as he found the middle of the bat and after losing Dick (26), became O’Brien’s third victim just after bringing up his half-century.
The lower order added a further 48 runs as they took the Timaru total through to 162-7.
Grant Watt took two wickets and Liam Beck was economic through his four-over spell, both in support of O’Brien, but it was the Roncalli/Celtic batting that needed now to perform.
Unfortunately for Roncalli/Celtic the 18-degree temperature drop as the southerly came through seemed to hit their batting. Opening batsman Mike de Joux struggled to time the ball but was still the best batsman.
But when he was fourth out for 25 with the total on 60 it was a long hill to climb and with only two other batsmen making double figures, Roncalli/Celtic’s challenge faltered and they were all out for 100. The Timaru bowlers all had good spells with Prabodha Arthavidu returning excellent figures of 4-17 from his spell.
In Waimate’s first ever Friday night T20 match at home, they asked Celtic to bat first and it was hard work for their batsmen after the weather interfered with pitch preparation during the week.
But 29 from Glenn Matthews and 20 from Tom Pavletich helped Celtic to 116-6, a score that proved to be more than enough.
For Waimate, veteran campaigner Reuben Allan was the most successful bowler with 3-25.
In reply, Lachie Robertson was the standout for Waimate with 29 but with no-one else making double figures, Waimate were dismissed 56 runs short.
In Temuka the home side were far too good for Star, who managed only 92, chasing the winning score for the loss of two wickets.
With two rounds left, Celtic cannot be caught on the points table and are assured one final spot but who their opposition will be on February 13 is yet to be decided.
Timaru need one more win to claim the spot but will have a tougher task next Friday night when they lose their representative players ,who will be travelling to Alexandra.
Timaru travel to take on Temuka who, although out of this competition, will still want to be giant killers on their home ground.
If Timaru do not beat Temuka, then their final match could be a real nailbiter, as again they may miss representative players when they take on Waimate in Waimate, one of the two teams (Roncalli/Celtic is the other) that can still tie for second with Timaru.
As things stand, Timaru would go through on countback against Roncalli/Celtic and on run rate against Waimate but with two rounds to play that equation may change.