Timaru’s Srinivas KS hit the first century of the senior cricket season, but even he was upstaged by the response from the blazing bat of Temuka captain Richie Preston.
Srinivas KS appeared to have put his side in the dominant position, on Saturday, after he carried his bat, in making 119 not out, as Timaru made 243 for six from their 45 overs.
However, Preston had other ideas, as a pedestrian half century soon turned into a belting century, as he hit 128 to give his team an unlikely three-wicket win.
A steady half century from Alex McKenzie guided Star to their first win of the season, over Waimate, at Mountainview High School.
The four-wicket win was thanks to the No4’s well-timed innings, as he compiled 58 not out to steer his team to victory with an over to spare.
Four wickets from Glenn Matthews was enough to see Roncalli’s good fortune come to a grinding halt, as Celtic continued their winning ways, cruising to a seven-wicket win.
Star always looked in control of their game, but a stubborn eighth-wicket partnership of 74, between Waimate’s Alan Reid, who made 33, and Nathan Sew Hoy, who stroked 42, meant the visitors had a respectable 170 to defend.
The front-line bowlers for Star made Waimate work hard, South Canterbury representative Craig Hinton was at his miserable best, ending with one for 11 from his nine overs, while Paul Arkinstall and McKenzie both took three wickets.
Star battled early on to get their run-rate going.
Despite losing both openers by the time the score was 33, McKenzie combined with Arkinstall in a 49-run partnership for the third wicket, and then a 62-run stand with debutant Danny Campbell, who confidently struck 26.
A late flurry of wickets gave Waimate hope, but their inability to take catches in the latter part of the innings cost them any chance of stealing a win.
The Waimate bowlers toiled well, with Reid managing two for 25 from his nine overs and James Devlin also getting two wickets, and Matthew Sew Hoy conceded just 18 runs, while picking up a wicket, in his nine over spell.
Waimate captain Jason Sew Hoy said it was the top-order batting which had let his team down.
“We’re just not producing at the top of the order at the moment. We need to learn to keep our heads a bit more.” He said he was pleased with the fielding of the Devlin brothers, Sam and Matt.
Star captain Phil McGregor said it was a better performance all-round from his team.
He hoped McKenzie would be able to build on the good first-up innings and produce runs consistently for the rest of the season.
Temuka Oval was a batsman’s paradise for the home team’s win over Timaru, with 490 runs scored in the day.
Century-maker Srinivas KS got good support from Jeremy Smallridge with 56, in a determined 158-run, sixth-wicket partnership.
Many of the Temuka bowlers took some punishment, with Paul Coles bagging two wickets.
Preston was able to keep on top of a soaring required run-rate, his individual heroics highlighted further by the next best scorer being Kevin Teahen with 27.
Srinivas KS ended a good day, as he had the best bowling figures for Timaru, ending with one for 37 from nine overs.
Roncalli were no match for the pace of the Celtic bowling attack, rolled for just 78 at Ashbury Park.
While Celtic had to bat for 24 overs to surpass the limp total, an unbeaten 40 from Craig Davies saw them home, for the loss of three wickets.
All teams will now shift their attention to two-day cricket, which starts next weekend.
Ritchie Preston 128
Srinivas KS 119*
Alex McKenzie 58*
Jeremy Smallridge 56