The first century in seven seasons by a Star batsman after Paul Arkinstall scored 104 helped move Star into an outright winning position on the first day against Timaru, a result they must achieve to have a chance of overtaking Temuka who currently hold second place and gain the final spot to play Celtic in the final of the Tweedy Cup.
Star also need other results go in their favour too, and will be happy with Geraldine who have followed the script by picking up a first innings lead over Temuka and so far denying Temuka any further points, but with a full day’s play left in all the matches, a lot can still happen.
Arkinstall’s first senior century in South Canterbury was a typical mix of aggression and defense and included 13 fours and three sixes. The mainstay of the Star innings, his best support came from Andrew McRae (43) in an 87 run partnership for the fourth wicket, but after their wickets fell, Star did not offer much more resistance and were all out in the 50th over for 230.
Craig Hinton and Jeremy Lane were straight into their work on a pitch that had showed some variable bounce, and supported by some good fielding soon had Timaru in deep trouble, and at 52-9 may have been envisaging a day off next weekend, but No’s 10 and 11 for Timaru had other ideas as they showed their batsmen how it was done adding 31 runs before Timaru were all out for 83. Star only used the two bowlers and good spells rewarded Hinton with 5-39 and Lane 4-41.
Star now faced the dilemma of batting again and earning some batting bonus points, or enforcing the follow-on and hoping that other results would pan out for them. They decided to play the match as they would normally and leave things they couldn’t control to fate and put Timaru back in. Timaru reversed the order hoping the form shown by Mike Turner and Sam Wilson would help them to a better start, and while Turner scored 12 to go with his 21 earlier, Wilson was out first ball, and when bad light stopped play Timaru at 38-3 have a lot of work to do next week to save the game.
A fine innings of 96 by Guy Metcalf batting at No 6 helped Geraldine to first innings points over Temuka but with a lead of only 37 runs this match has a long way to go, especially if Kevin Teahen is on song for Temuka again after taking 6-51 in the first innings.
To further complicate matters, Waimate look like gaining a first innings lead over Celtic despite James Laming notching up his second senior century (104*) after Celtic had been 37-5 at one stage before making 220-6 when the declaration came.
In reply Waimate’s Nathan Sew Hoy was on target to score his first senior ton too, before being dismissed for 86, and at stumps Waimate had moved to 217-6 with Jason Sew Hoy unbeaten on 48 and five overs left before the compulsory declaration. Despite this good showing, it is hard to imagine Waimate knocking Celtic over a second time and leaving themselves enough time to score the required runs, but cricket is a funny game?
J Laming 104*
P Arkinstall 104
G Metcalf 96
N Sew Hoy 86
K Teahen 6-51
C Hinton 5-39
J Liddy 51