The first round of the Tweedy Cup two day cricket competition with a new rules format got under way this weekend. Although compulsory declarations must be made by both teams after 50 overs in the first innings, and bonus points only apply in the second, this did not happen in any match as Timaru and Temuka were both dismissed inside the 50 overs and Celtic were able to declare at 295-5 from only 45 overs after Craig Davies scored the first senior century of the season with a run-a-ball 132 not out.
Geraldine won the toss but soon learnt the lesson about letting Celtic bat first, as Ryan De Joux scored 40 quickly before being dismissed with the score at 55. Davies survived a sharp caught and bowled chance before taking control as his innings mimicked that of Brendan McCullum earlier the same day, both scoring 14 fours, while Davies scored one more six and one more run to win the “big hitting” kudos.
Geraldine’s attack was further dented by Glenn Matthews who has equal rights to the man-of-the-match award at present after scoring 69 with the bat and then destroying Geraldine with 6-21 from his 13 overs of left-arm pace bowling and thus helping enforce the follow on.
For Geraldine there were not a lot of highlights, although Phil Lill’s perseverance paid off as he top-scored with 32 including one over where he scored 14, but it was as though the game was played on two different pitches, after Celtic turned a flat deck when batting into a minefield when bowling. Credit must go to the bowlers and especially Matthews who this week certainly made the batsmen play at more deliveries and justifiably got the rewards. He swung the ball consistently and mixed with a couple of very quick bouncers had the batsmen very watchful and already has an early breakthough in the second innings as Geraldine will resume next week 4-1.
In Temuka, it was the bowlers turn to shine too as the home team collapsed from 73-3 to be all out for 98. The main Star weapon was the spin of Todd Elliotte as he beat batsmen through the air, off the pitch or forced them into silly shots on his way to 5-10 from his 10 overs. John Geddis with 42 batted with aggression, but after his partnership with Captain Ritchie Preston was broken, the rest of the Temuka team succumbed quickly.
In reply Star were soon in trouble as Kevin Teahen picked up a wicket in his second over, but then Star settled in with regular partnerships with Chris Anders leading the way with 49 and Elliotte 26 completing a fine double. Kevin Teahen Michael Geddis and Willie Stone all picked up 3 wickets each but not before Star had secured the first innings points and a sizeable lead eventually making 169.
Temuka then had to bat a further 17 overs before stumps and after a solid start lost four quick wickets to be 39-4 still 32 runs in arrears, and facing a mammoth task to save the game
Timaru travelled to Waimate and batted first with openers Gerald Piddock (19) and a rejuvenated Chris Leonard (24) who was no longer the oldest senior cricketer on the field adding 41 for the first wicket in what was the best partnership to eventuate. The availability of Kris Howes probably dampened Waimate’s day as he top scored in the middle order with 33, and Hayden Leonard again thwarted the attack on his way to 21 not out as Timaru posted a competitive 157.
Alan Reid put in the hard yards as he bowled unchanged from one end for Waimate and was rewarded with 5-76, while Craig Booth took 3-11 and is wishing he had been brought into the attack earlier.
In reply Waimate were soon in trouble at 38-4 before Craig Booth (24) and skipper Jason Sew Hoy (35) added 54 runs to get things back on track at 92-5, but another mini collapse to be 116-8 at stumps has Timaru in the strongest position going into day two to not only gain first innings points, but also to try and push for the outright.
Most of the Timaru bowlers had success, but again it was Howes with 5-21 who was the standout, and Timaru will be hoping he is available a lot more this season.