A big reputation garnered a big response from Roncalli College opener Ed Kilbee during the fourth round of the South Canterbury senior one-day cricket competition.
The England-based 23-year-old arrived in South Canterbury with a reputation as a run-thirsty top-order player, and on Saturday he delivered with a sublime 131 not out in his side’s 114-run win over Timaru at Ashbury Park 6.
In other results, Star’s season slide continued with a 10-wicket loss to Celtic at the Celtic Sports Grounds, while Waimate chased down 141 against Temuka to win by six wickets at the Temuka Oval.
Kilbee gave his opposition a chance but he was dropped at first slip by Gerald Piddock off the bowling of Jordan Morrow when he had just reached double figures.
It proved a costly miss, as he went about a well-timed innings to hold Roncalli’s innings together.
Kilbee carried his bat after he saw his first three partners come and go with only two runs on the board.
At that point, Timaru captain Hayden Butler’s decision to bowl looked a good one. The Ashbury Park pitch had low bounce early but got more consistent as the sun baked it.
Ben Simpson scratched his way to eight, but batted time, before he was dismissed with the score on 48.
Kilbee found his feet striking boundaries off the back foot, before he showed his front-foot arsenal as his innings went on.
A 63-run sixth wicket partnership between Kilbee and Liam Beck (19) got the score through to 133.
Kilbee was slowly making his way to his century, but then lost Barry Ward, and Daniel Dorgan from consecutive balls and Roncalli, were dangling at 137-8, with Kilbee fast approaching the 90s.
Timaru had again fought their way back in the match, but they could not remove Ben Watson (17 not out) as he put on an unbeaten 88-run partnership with his opener to guide him to his century and then join him in the scoring spree in the last five overs.
Kilbee scored his century in the 41st over and added 31 runs in the last four overs to help Roncalli to 225-8 at the close.
Timaru’s bowlers were consistent, but lacked the backup of their fielders at crucial moments and could not land the killer blow which would have seen them chasing well under 200.
They did concede 33 wides and two no-balls which aided the Roncalli effort.
Spinner Zane Sanders finished with two for 36, while Butler managed three for 47.
Timaru’s reply went downhill early.
Four of the first five batsmen made ducks, and while Piddock tried to make up for his fielding lapse, when he was dismissed for a breezy 36 the match was effectively over.
Dan Murari made 37, but Timaru were bowled out for 111 in the 30th over.
Tahir Afridi’s left-arm swing proved difficult to handle, as he picked-up three for 32, while Dorgan also took three wickets.
Star’s stocks continued to plummet when they were rolled for 87.
Celtic opener Mark Tutton struck a quickfire 50 not out to end the match quickly.
Nathan Sew Hoy (49) and Hayden Matthews (48 not out) guided Waimate to a six-wicket win over Temuka.
Temuka had scrambled to 141 all out thanks to Hayden Broker’s 33 and Dylan Lees’ 24.
Waimate made it home with almost 10 overs to spare thanks to an unbeaten partnership of 62 between Matthews and Alan Reid.