BRAYDEN LINDSAY - TIMARU HERALD Photos by TETSURO MITOMO/FAIRFAX NZ
Big game players stand up when it counts and that’s exactly what happened in Sunday’s South Canterbury club cricket one-day final.
A seven-over stretch from the start of the 28th over secured the defending champions Celtic another one-day title.
Timaru made the final thanks to a crushing eight wicket win over Pleasant Point in Saturday’s semifinal.
Point made 204-5 in their 45 overs with Liam Beck hitting a glorious hundred.
His 101 set up Point, while handy contributions were made by Adam Beck (45) and Tom Costley (30).
Timaru lost Sasindu Nanayakkara early but Josh Smallridge (85 not out) and Prabodha Arthavidu (91) secured the match for Timaru.
In the final, Timaru were chasing Celtic’s 200 and doing well but Sam Carlaw’s two crucial wickets and Dan Laming’s splendid run out proved to be the turning points.
Arthavidu was well set and looked set for his second big score of the weekend but chipped one back to Carlaw.
Sam Porter was run out just overs later by some Laming magic. He dived to his left to pull off a fantastic stop and then fired a beautiful throw to Willie Wright behind the stumps, although Porter unluckily slipped over turning back.
Celtic captain Carlaw said it was a good game of cricket.
“I thought we were probably 50 to 60 runs light of a challenging total.”
He said at the change of ends he was unsure if it would be enough.
“I wasn’t that confident and Artha and Supa batted really well through the middle and we fought hard to stay in and managed to pick up a couple of key wickets.”
Carlaw praised groundsman Jacques Marais for a quality ground.
“He’s done a great job. The wicket was great and the outfield was really good.”
Celtic, who claimed their 10 successive one-day crown, chose to bat first.
James Laming and Andy Scott made a rollicking start for the green machine, putting on 56 for the first wicket.
Laming was the first to go, hitting one to Buster O’Connell at point.
Andy Scott fell one run later, caught behind off Brad Leonard.
Jacob Naylor fell soon after for 10 and Dan Laming tried his best to put Celtic in a good position but he was caught behind for 26.
No one really kicked on for Celtic with Willie Wright, who was called up for an injured Glenn Matthews top scoring with a hard hit 30 at number seven, before he was run out by Supeshala Jayathilake.
Andrew Buckingham chipped in with 22.
Timaru started poorly with the ball but recovered superbly through Jayathilake, Dinesh de Silva and Leonard to keep Celtic to 200.
It was a score Timaru would have been confident of getting.
Smallridge fell for a duck and when Nanayakkara was caught behind for 24, Timaru turned to two of their Sri Lankans.
Arthavidu (47) and Jayathilake (40) went about rebuilding the innings for Timaru.
Arthavidu was dropped twice and when he fell to his opposing captain, Timaru’s wheels slowly fell off.
Jayathilake chipped Carlaw to Dan Laming a few overs later and that effectively sealed the fate of Timaru.
Dinesh de Silva made a run-a-ball 21 and played some nice shots but it wasn’t enough as Jeremy Liddy ripped through the lower order with four crucial wickets.
Celtic fielded superbly and held some difficult chances late in the clash.
Meanwhile, the South Canterbury Emerging players will tackle their Canterbury Country opposites in a clash at Aorangi Oval on Monday.
Semifinal: Pleasant Point 204-5 (L Beck 101, A Beck 45, T Costley 30) lost to Timaru 205-2 (P Arthavidu 91, J Smallridge 85 not out) by eight wickets.
Final: Celtic 200 (W Wright 30, D Laming 26, A Scott 26, A Buckingham 22; D de Silva 8-1-26-2, B Leonard 6-0-32-2, S Jayathilake 8.2-0-27-2) beat Timaru 155 (P Arthavidu 47, S Jayathilake 40, S Nanayakkara 24, D de Silva 21; J Liddy 7.4-0-25-4, S Carlaw 9-1-23-2, J Blackstock 9-0-45-2) by 46 runs.