Star’s Jeremy Lane and Roncalli College’s Tahir Afridi prospered in seamer-friendly conditions in the first day of the fourth round of the South Canterbury senior two-day cricket competition on Saturday.
In just his second week back from injury, Lane took 10 wickets in the day, while Afridi replied with eight in one innings, as their teams squared-off at Ashbury Park 6.
Celtic’s batsmen were forced to toil hard during the early stages of their match against Timaru at Ashbury Park 4, before half centuries from Mark Tutton and Craig Davies put them in a favourable position at stumps.
Temuka got immediate value out of former Northern Districts player Nick Horsley, as he made 58 on debut, while Matthew Sew Hoy continued the trend of front-line seam bowling success as he took five for 21 for Waimate.
The toss was crucial in all three games with the inning captain electing to field after Friday’s rain.
Celtic and Timaru lost 75 minutes play due to damp run-ups, while Roncalli and Star started 15 minutes late and Waimate and Temuka were forced off the field early after tea at Temuka Oval.
Neither the Roncalli nor Star batsmen got comfortable in the conditions.
Roncalli were rolled for 54, with Lane (six for 22) and Alex McKenzie (four for 26) doing all of the bowling as wickets tumbled regularly.
Nine of the Roncalli wickets to fall were bowled, as the batsmen described the pitch as “spongy” and “soft” with a thumb print going deep into the pitch.
Despite the poor total, one of Roncalli’s English imports, Afridi, utilised the conditions just as well as McKenzie and Lane.
The movement he gained earned him eight for 36, as Star were dismissed for 84, but with first innings points secured.
Roncalli’s second batting effort started better.
Ed Kilbee made 29 to open the innings but again, the middle-order failed to make many runs, as they were bundled out for the second time for just 103.
Lane took four for 34 and the spin of Todd Elliotte captured four for 35.
Star will chase 74 to win this Saturday.
Timaru won a good toss against Celtic and for the first two hours of play, they put Celtic under pressure. The spin of Zane Sanders was difficult to score off, as he got plenty of purchase from the wicket.
Mark Tutton (67) provided the early impetus, however, at 82 for four at tea, Timaru were in the match.
Celtic had shuffled senior batsmen Dan Laming and Craig Davies down the order, and the move paid dividends as the run-rate picked up and the score mounted after tea.
Davies made 77 batting at No6 as he shared in a 120-run fifth wicket partnership with Tutton, which took the score from 82 to 202.
They declared at the compulsory 60-over mark on 251 for 6.
Hayden Butler and Sanders each took two wickets for Timaru.
Timaru batted steadily towards stumps, but Celtic grabbed three key wickets to ensure they had the better of the day, with Timaru 79 for three after 31 overs, at stumps.
Horsley survived Temuka’s early carnage to post a solid half-century after opening the innings against Waimate.
Matthew Sew Hoy took three wickets in four balls to leave the home team eight for three at one stage before Horsley found some middle-order allies in Hayden Broker (18) and Adrian Cunningham (24 not out) to get through to 133 all out.
Sew Hoy’s five-wicket bag, combined with Ben Millar’s three for 23, kept Temuka battling.
Nathan McNicol did his best to make the total look defendable, as he took three quick Waimate wickets to leave the visitors at 54 for four when stumps were called early, due to rain.