Star won the toss but it was all downhill from there playing against defending Twenty20 champions Celtic who were out to make up for their first round loss to Timaru during this week’s Friday night cricket at Aorangi Oval.

Star batted first and despite Celtic dropping a catch on the first ball of the night, was soon in trouble losing Alex McKenzie in the second over when the score was 9. A procession of batsmen followed as Dan Laming got good carry to keep it tight at his end while Grant Watt picked up three wickets at the other end from his spell, only having his figures slightly ruined in his fourth and final over to take 3-23.

At 19-4 Star staged a mini-comeback with their best partnership of the night between an uncharacteristically aggressive captain Phil McGegor who top-scored with 19 and Aaron Collins (8), the pair adding 26 in good time.

The loss of McGregor restarted the regular fall of wickets as James Blackstock with two wickets and Sam Carlaw three helped tidy up the tail. Mark Tutton behind the stumps had his third hatrick of the season taking three catches (he took 3 last Saturday and 3 for SC against Mid Canterbury.

Gareth Sutton who hit his first boundary ever forward of the stumps, chimed in at No 11 with 14 not out, but in the end the Star total of 81 was never likely to trouble Celtic on the pitch at Aorangi.

Celtic openers Craig Davies and Jeremy Liddy were soon taking between 7 and 10 runs an over from the attack without having to do anything silly, with Liddy looking in great touch following last weekend’s 180 with some lovely drives.

Both batsmen picked up any singles on offer, and Davies joined the boundary scoring with a big six and straight drives for four to finish the match off in the twelfth over.

After five weeks in the new T20 Friday night competition, there have now been five different winners, and next week Temuka will be looking to continue the trend when they play Timaru which would mean all teams are equal on points after two full rounds. Because of next Sunday’s 50 over match between the Canterbury Wizards and the Wellington Firebirds, next Friday night’s T20 match is scheduled to play at Ashbury Park.


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