A century to Hayden Butler helped Timaru’s season resurgence as they travelled to and defeated Waimate, while Star made more of their opportunities when they beat Celtic at CSG1 despite both teams missing players due to representative duty and now re-join Waimate, Timaru and Celtic in a four way tie at the top of the table with two rounds left in the Daily Freightways One Day competition.

It seemed that everything went Timaru’s way after Waimate won the toss and asked them to bat first at Knottingley Park. After losing two wickets for 26 Waimate then dropped Hayden Butler twice before he scored, crucial mistakes in the context of the game as he went on to make his first senior century by scoring 107. He had good help adding 76 in partnership with Zane Sanders and 72 with Hayden Leonard as Timaru scored 207-7 from their overs.

When rain fell between innings, Timaru’s good fortunes continued as they got to bowl on a freshened pitch and soon made the most of it to have Waimate reeling at 33-5 before Craig Booth and Jason Sew Hoy began the fightback with a 50 run partnership.

However, when Booth was run out, Sew Hoy could not complete the fairytale of previous weeks and although Matt Devlin certainly tried with a cameo innings of 47 not out, Waimate were too far behind the required run rate to threaten Timaru’s score and finished 174-9 off their 45 overs.

The Celtic and Star teams both wanted to win, but for different reasons as a win would have put Celtic out in front on their own, while a win to Star would help them to get rid of the “chokers” tag they have been building on this season and get them back to the top of the table for the run home with games against Temuka and Timaru to come.

Star inserted Celtic and was rewarded by regular wickets as Celtic battled to 68-4. Andy Craig who top scored with 35 and Nigel Caple (24) then put together a decent partnership adding 56 runs for the fifth wicket.

Unfortunately for Celtic the rest of the batsmen then capitulated and were all out for the addition of only 20 runs as Phil Henshaw confused them with the ball that never arrives taking 4 wickets and showing his fellow bowlers how the slower ball works, taking two of the four caught and bowled dismissals Star created.

Young off spinner Blair Brown ended up with 3 wickets on debut, but may be advised to let his bowling do most of the talking in the future and thus always get the last laugh, while Chris Hyde again bowled well to pick up 2 wickets.

In reply, other than from the threat of thunder and rain, Star were never in any danger of losing despite the loss of two cheap wickets. Phil McGregor and Paul Arkinstall took the score into the nineties before a brilliant diving overhead catch by Andy Scott (almost Duminy-like) removed Arkinstall for 36. But the damage was done and McGregor almost scored his second fifty in a row but was thwarted when Nathan Tubb hit a boundary to give Star victory and leave his captain unbeaten on 49. Willie Scott was the only successful bowler for Celtic, and possibly under-bowled but in the end Celtic didn’t put up a defendable score and will be relishing the return of their rep players for the rest of the season.

In Temuka the weather intervened causing the match to be abandoned in the local derby with Geraldine before NZ Hockey player Hayden Shaw could wreak any havoc with the ball.

Temuka batted first and got off to a great start with the Geddis brothers adding 59 in 11 overs, and at 100 for 2 looked like posting a really good total, but then Ben Millar, who has started to become a ‘golden arm’ when called on to break partnerships, took 3-20 and with Chris Esh only conceding 10 runs from his nine overs, Geraldine were able to turn the game back in their favour.

Adrian Cunningham with 31 not out continued his new found form and alongside Vaughan Tarrant who has returned helped the Temuka side put 178-8 on the board. Unfortunately the thunder and rain which skirted games throughout the province was at its worst in Temuka and the game was abandoned after only 3 overs of the Geraldine chase.

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