A superb 94-run partnership between veterans Hayden Broker and Adrian Cunningham propelled Temuka to a strong five-wicket win against Star in the opening round of the South Canterbury club cricket competition.
Broker smashed a chanceless 46 and Cunningham produced a resolute 42 that saw Temuka home.
The visitors decided to bowl and that paid off with immediate success as they ran out Star opener Adam Fahey in the first over.
Fahey, who had recently returned from a stint in England, was looking to get off the mark early but some quality fielding from Temuka’s Nick Maguire at mid on left the opener short of his ground.
Sam Richardson came to the crease and built a steady partnership with Phil McGregor. The pair added 49 before Richardson, who made 28, was also found short of his ground. McGregor, who took his time to get going, was stumped by Jamie Trezise off left arm orthodox spinner Glen Drake.
Chris Hogan (26) and Daniel Campbell (13) tried to restore things for Star but the former mistimed a shot down the ground and was well caught by Willie Stone.
Star lost a couple of quick wickets with Dan Mehrtens scoring 21 to help Star through to a modest 156 all out. Drake claimed 3-38 from his nine overs, while Temuka captain Dillon Lees chipped in with 3-16 and Maguire claimed 2-31.
In reply Temuka lost Stone and Drake to Star seamer Blair Gunn, who ended with 2-30.
Cunningham took his time on a pitch that was popping, while George Morgan made 19 before he walked past a Dale Warwood leg spinner. He picked up Trezise soon after and when Chris Hogan had Dillon Lees out cheaply, Star looked on top at 63-5.
Broker and Cunningham then combined beautifully and guided Temuka to victory with 4.3 overs remaining. Warwood ended with 2-31 and along with Gunn was the best of the Star bowlers, who were well below their best with 31 extras.
Meanwhile, Timaru cruised to a seven-wicket win over Pleasant Point on a very slow and low surface at Ashbury Park.
Pleasant Point scratched their way to 110-9 thanks to 17 from Liam Beck and Bailey Dryden and 15 not out from Cam Lundie. Josh Smallridge, Prabodha Arthavidu and Sam Singh all claimed two wickets each.
A smashing 51 not out from Supeshala Jayathilake and 17 not out from Sam Porter saw Timaru home with 17.4 overs to spare.
Up-and-coming pace bowler Mark Otley was Pleasant Point’s best, claiming 2-26, including key batsman Arthavidu for a duck.
Next week Star host Pleasant Point while Celtic and Timaru collide in a battle of last year’s final.