Craig Hinton bowled his most inspired and timely spell of the season as he took 8-32 against Celtic allowing Star to enforce the follow on with Celtic still 197 runs in arrears. He should have had nine wickets, but his captain decided to share the spoils around after dropping a chance in gully and then snapping it up at the other end.
Star won the toss and batted first on their home ground soon taking advantage of a fairly good pitch. While both openers had departed by the time the score was 58, Paul Arkinstall and Chris Anders established yet another solid partnership and with Arkinstall punishing anything off line they soon added 60 runs before Anders (20) became the first of Ryan De Joux’s three victims in an inspired bowling change. Arkinstall was his second victim, but not before he had powered his way to 77 before again holing out to a boundary fielder.
A mini collapse of 3 wickets for the addition of only 7 runs was corrected when Nathan Tubb joined Twenty20 hero Alexander McKenzie to put on a further 77 runs before Tubb was out for 28. McKenzie continued on after tea to bring up his fifty but after he fell there was little resistance and Star was dismissed for 271, a target that appeared perhaps 30-40 runs light.
Celtic started well as De Joux attacked the bowling, but his 24 runs was to end up being easily the highest score as Hinton found the perfect length and then spent the next 14 overs terrorizing the Celtic batsmen. He clean bowled four batsmen, and had the others either caught in the slip cordon or lbw, and although it may have been his longest spell for some time, there was no way he was giving the ball to anyone else. This was such a good spell of bowling, that several spectators changed plans for the evening so as not to miss a ball.
Jeremy Lane backed him up well at the other end with the prize scalp of Dan Laming to a brilliant diving catch by wicketkeeper Anders (who blotted his copybook shortly after by appearing to celebrate slightly early and dropping an easy chance) and Mark Evans and Hamish Dickson also helped tie one end up, but it was definitely the Hinton show as Celtic were dismissed in the 28th over for 74, and then had the ignominy of having to bat out two more overs before stumps in their second innings.
A lot can happen in a week, and if it doesn’t rain, the Celtic batsmen will be looking for a long day batting to gain back some superiority before the one day final between these two team on the Sunday.
In Waimate it was the players who had failed to fire in the Twenty20 on Friday who were the stars on Saturday. Jordy Morrow took 5-46 for Timaru and then in a new role as an opening batsman was unbeaten on 80 at the close of play. Earlier most of the Waimate top order had made good contributions, but it had been Rafferty Fox batting at No 8 who top scored with 99 runs before being caught that helped Waimate score 285 in their first innings. The match is at an interesting stage with Morrow and partner Hitesh Angrish (38 not out) batting when Timaru resume their innings next week on 135-3 and they may look to try and consolidate their position at the top of the table by targeting first innings points, but Alan Reid who already has all three wickets to fall will be looking for a good ‘bag’ for himself and to put Waimate in the box seat and get themselves off the bottom of the table.
In the local derby between the second and third placed teams Temuka and Geraldine, Geraldine scored 249 with No 10 Phil Lill starring with 57 runs including ten boundaries as he and a very patient Tom McKnight added 46 runs at a run a minute for the final wicket. Earlier Millar with 43 and the middle order of Harper (35), Tate (26) and Franklin (36) had all made solid contributions.
Kevin Teahen toiled hard bowling 25 overs to take 4-87 while Robbie Histen was the next best bowler with 2-56 as it took the Temuka bowlers 75 overs to dismiss Geraldine.
In reply at 70-2 Temuka have lost both openers, but have Ritchie Preston (46 not out) and Teahen at the crease. However, one of these teams really needs to take the initiative and make something happen quickly if they want to get more out of the game than just first innings points. For both teams with the way the draw pans out for the rest of the season this is their best chance to gain valuable points, else they will only be letting teams behind them close the gap in the hunt for a finals berth.