It may have taken five years, but the return of domestic cricket to Timaru’s Aorangi Oval was well worth the wait.

The 1500 spectators who lined the grassy embankments saw a game of milestones they will never forget. Superb stroke-play saw Aorangi Oval play host to the highest total ever scored in New Zealand in one-day domestic cricket, beating the previous best of 376 by Central Districts against Otago in 1996.

If groundsman Greg Hull could have managed some sleep last night, he surely couldn’t have dreamt of a better day.

Hull said he was thrilled with how the pitch played, and was surprised both teams would have chosen to bowl, if they had won the toss. He said after a few sleepless nights in the days leading up to the game, he was looking forward to having a few beers to celebrate a job well done.

The new scoreboard got a good workout as the ball rolled and sometimes flew over the boundary rope with great regularity.

You had to feel sorry for the bowlers and fielders, as it seemed the children who lined the boundary waiting to get a touch of the match ball as it crossed the rope for another boundary were getting the most work.

After a day in the sun like no other, the South Canterbury cricketing faithful will be eagerly anticipating the Twenty20 encore on January 13.

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