This weekend Star will take on the top qualifiers Geraldine in a two day match for the Tweedy Cup where it is hard to predict the outcome. In their previous encounters, Geraldine took outright points in the two day match after successfully chasing down 141 runs in only 16 overs with two balls to spare. This was after former South Canterbury opening batsman Stephen Pagan had scored 77 not out batting at number 10 to give Geraldine a first innings lead. However honours were squared in the one day matches.
Star have had the most recent success in the Tweedy Cup after beating Celtic in the 2004-05 season to get their name on the cup, while for Geraldine a berth in the final is further into the archives.
On paper, Star captain Phil McGregor should be spoiled for choice with a bowling lineup to call on that features SC opening bowler Craig Hinton (who also topped the club averages), as well as the equally well performed Mark Evans, not to mention Hamish Dickson, Jeremy Lane, Tim Butler and the experienced off-spin of Todd Elliotte.
Opposing that Geraldine has the experienced Pagan who knows how to rise to the big match occasion, English professional Matt Barnes who was the second highest run scorer in South Canterbury for the club season, Hamish Drennan who can turn a game with his aggressive batting, and the consistent Guy Metcalf and Regan Tate. If all the batsmen step up and support each other, it could be a great spectacle, especially as it is being played on a batsmen’s paradise on the Aorangi Oval, notorious for making the best of bowlers work very hard for any reward.
While the Star batting lineup may seem slightly weaker, Tom Bouch and McGregor have usually got their team off to a solid start, and Paul Arkinstall, now restricted to playing as a batsman has played well in the last couple of months, while wicketkeeper Chris Anders has not only enjoyed his job behind the stumps, but also in front of them as well averaging almost 40 with the bat. There is plenty more experience down the order for Star too, and as long as the team have a clear understanding of their game plan, and are all on the same page, Star are capable of posting impressive scores.
For the Geraldine bowling attack, their whole season improved once Drennan became able to play regularly and he has bowled quickly and with good rhythm to trouble most opposition. He has been supported by spinner Chris Esh, the other English professional in the side. Esh had a hapless start to his NZ stay but has now been picking up wickets by the handful in recent matches. With Tom McKnight, Phil Chapman and Guy Metcalf to back them up, the quest for superiority between the two bowling and batting attacks should make for a great tussle.
Both teams start the match from scratch, as all points are removed and must play for the best possible result. Winning the toss and batting all day is fine, as long as you can dismiss the opposition for less and at least achieve a first innings win. If things go awry in your first innings you may then have to turn the match around and look for an outright result to counter your first innings failings.
The match begins on both days at 10.30am and whether you support a team or are just cricket in general, you should have a pleasurable two days.
Below are the unofficial batting and bowling averages according to received records for the complete season. These include both two day and one day matches, but exclude the Twenty20 competition. Of special interest is that Dan Laming again proved he is the districts finest all rounder, leading the batting aggregate with 600 runs including one century (162 in a one day game) and five half centuries, as well as being second in the bowling averages. He may have scored more runs and taken more wickets, if he had not been away on representative duty.
Julian Danby scored 3 centuries, and Matt Barnes scored 2 centuries and 3 fifties, while Kevin Teahen with 34 took the most wickets for the third season in a row. Saturday combatants, Hinton and Esh both achieved hat-tricks this year, and fittingly both took 8 wicket bags.
To qualify batsmen need to have scored 240 or more runs and average over 25, while bowlers need to have taken 14 or more wickets and bowled more than 50 overs.
The following records are not official, but listed according to the score sheets and information I have received to date.
|Jason Sew Hoy|
|Ryan De Joux|