Dan Laming made up for lost chances this season as he put the Temuka bowling attack to the sword on his way to a chanceless 162, bringing up his first fifty off 35 balls, his second off 45 and the third fifty off only a further 25 deliveries. This helped Celtic post 336 off their 45 overs, thus assuring themselves of one of the final spots for the Daily Freightways One Day Trophy.
In Geraldine, Waimate won to keep themselves in with a chance for the other finals berth, or at least a countback if Timaru won their match, but Star, who so often have been the chokers in this and recent seasons when it comes down to the big matches did not let Timaru ruin their parade as they outplayed them on a difficult wicket to win and go through to meet Celtic in a fortnight’s time.
Celtic won the toss and had no hesitation in batting first at the Aorangi Oval. Despite losing 2 wickets early on, the score was already moving along quickly before the 200 run partnership between Laming and Mark Tutton who scored 67 soon had the Temuka fielders fetching the ball from far and wide. None of the bowlers were spared and the numerous spectators were treated to a batting master class as Laming scored 17 boundaries including four sixes. James Laming also joined the fray with an unbeaten 47.
Temuka, already out of the competition set about the chase in a positive manner with Julian Danby starring with 134 off 104 balls. His third club century of the season included partnerships of 63, 42, 48 and 43, but chasing a total of this size at 7 ½ runs an over is an onerous task no matter how good your line up, and to finish on 242 was a very respectable score, even if still 94 runs short. For Celtic James Laming and Mark Tutton both picked up 3 wickets, but none of the bowlers had flattering figures on a day where the bat dominated.
Timaru’s best chance of making the final was for them to beat Star and hope that Waimate beat Geraldine as Timaru would then go through on round robin results where they had won one match and the other had been washed out. With this in mind they asked Star to bat first.
Star began poorly losing McGregor and Arkinstall (previously in form batsmen) without scoring, and then the third wicket at 35. However Chris Anders hadn’t lost any form as he and Alexander McKenzie put on 77 runs before McKenzie lofted an on drive to be out for 38. Anders continued on adding a further 66 runs with Bouch (19), as they ran well between the wickets and picked up the run rate markedly. A target well in excess of 200 looked achievable, but the dismissal of Anders, run out for 79, allowed Timaru to put the brakes on and only 36 further runs were scored in the last 10 overs, with Star finishing at 209-8.
Timaru’s reply began well with Gerald Piddock, Robbie Rankin and Hayden Butler all getting into double figures. The ever present threat of rain and the deteriorating light meant score targets and runs per over were being closely monitored, remembering that 20 overs constitutes a match and a no result would only benefit Star.
At the 20 over stage Timaru were only 2 runs behind the required rate when, as they have regularly done this season, they lost wickets in a bunch going from 99-1 to 101-4. A couple of quiet overs and the loss of wickets suddenly meant they were 20 runs behind the asking rate. Tim Mackle (20) tried to pick it up but clever bowling changes countered that, and as the rain fell more heavily Timaru’s asking rate climbed above eight per over. Not normally a difficult ask, but with the overhead conditions and lack of wickets in hand, Timaru’s chase faded and they were eventually all out for 170.
All Star’s bowlers contributed with Jeremy Lane redeeming himself from a week ago with 2-24 from 9 overs, while McKenzie, Mark Evans and Hamish Dickson each grabbed a pair too.
With both teams needing victory to have any chance at a final Waimate batted first with Matt Devlin opening in his club swansong before departing for Australia. It wasn’t a great send off and Waimate were soon in deep trouble at 58-5 before Alan Reid with 38 and Jason Sew Hoy 34 added some substance allowing Waimate to post a competitive 183. Tom McKnight had a successful day with the ball for Geraldine taking 3 of the first 4 wickets to fall.
Geraldine’s reply was built around Stephen Pagan’s 53, but unfortunately only Regan Tate with 35 got going and tight bowling, especially by Reuben Allan with 2-6 off six overs and good fielding saw Waimate dismiss Geraldine 16 runs short in another nailbiter.
With the One Day finalists decided, we can look forward to the Twenty/20 Tournament all day this Friday at Aorangi Oval and the resumption of the Tweedy Cup next Saturday.