Jordan Morrow, Timaru’s captain for the night led from the front, first by bowling a tight spell to take 2-19 from his 4 overs and then carrying his bat to an unbeaten 57 taking Timaru to the top of the table after two full rounds of Friday night Twenty20.
Temuka won the toss and decided to bat first on the artificial pitch at Ashbury Park, venue for this week’s match. Openers Dillon Lees and Les Humphris started solidly taking the score to 25 before Humphris was the first of Morrow’s victims.
Jack Woodley, still in his first year at High School came in next to make his senior debut and did not appear intimidated as he made 17 and contributed to partnerships with Lees and then South Canterbury captain Ritchie Preston.
Temuka were well placed at 93-4 in the 15th over with wickets in hand to make the final charge and Tristan Johnston took 17 runs of the 16th over to give further hope, especially when clearing the boundary with three sixes on his way to 37, but when Morrow had him caught the run rate faltered, and eventually Temuka could only post 134-7.
Alongside Morrow veterans Hayden Leonard with 2-11 and Kris Howes 2-28 were the other successful bowlers for Timaru.
With a long outfield to deal with, boundaries hadn’t come easily and some players were guilty of not looking for more single and twos, and trying too hard for the big shot.
Dhananjaya Murari took advantage of the fielding restrictions right from the outset taking 14 runs from Tom McKnight’s first over, but McKnight had the last laugh dismissing him caught in the same over. When Lees knocked over Baadkar’s middle stump next over Temuka looked to be right in the hunt, but then the partnership of the match ensued as Morrow and Zane Sanders added 108 runs for the third wicket.
Both batsmen looked for singles at every opportunity, and good running often helped these turn into twos. They still put bad balls away to the boundary, but even the quiet overs produced four or five runs to keep the scoreboard on track. They were aided by some bowlers not bowling on one side of the wicket making it hard to set the field for the Temuka captain or to build pressure.
When Sanders was out for 34 Timaru had moved to 122 and with four overs still left, 13 runs needed and wickets in hand it became only a matter of time, as Morrow brought up his fifty and a couple of belligerent boundaries by Howes sealed Temuka’s fate.