Brilliant individual performances by Dan Laming for Celtic and Glen Drake for Waimate destroyed all hopes for their respective opponents, Timaru and Star during this weekend’s round of senior cricket.
Dan scored 55 not out to follow up his bowling spell of 6-21 from 8.2 overs, while 17 year old Waimate captain Glen led the way for his team following up his unbeaten 48 by taking 6-14 also off 8.2 overs.
On a beautiful day for all morning and afternoon cricket to get under way, Timaru won the toss at home and decided to bat first at Ashbury Park. Despite opener Josh Smallridge going on to score 28, he had no support as Timaru struggled to play the moving ball, or get forward to counteract the lower bounce.
At one stage it was looking marginal whether Timaru would bat out their first 20 overs, but eventually they went into the compulsory changeover at 51-6. Laming by now had 3-17 and Ben Watson had also picked up 2 wickets.
One of the interesting scenarios created by the new format was that Timaru with two early wickets to have Celtic 7-2, including that of the dangerous Craig Davies, were in a position to generate some momentum back in their own favour.
However, Dan and James Laming then steadied the ship a bit adding 27 for the third wicket and then a 40 run partnership between Dan and Glenn Matthews helped Celtic ahead to be 77-5 when their 20 overs was up.
Unfortunately, this had only warmed Laming up as he took 3 more wickets and conceded only 4 more runs as Timaru’s tail led by Brad Leonard with his side’s top score of 29 showed some fight on their way to a total of 100.
Needing one run an over with 5 wickets in hand should have been a relatively simple task, but Dan had had enough for the day as he scored the required runs in only 2.4 overs to give victory to Celtic.
Star were holding a ‘Club Day’ at MVHS with 6 home games and having already had a taste of the new format would have been looking to put pressure on Waimate in their first match of the season. However, Glen Drake’s day started well when he won his first toss as a senior captain and he never looked back as Waimate decided to field first.
Opening bowlers for Waimate Simon Murphy and Matt Sew Hoy toiled away looking for a breakthrough, and while they took a while to come, the Star scoring rate was not reflecting the quality of the pitch.
First change bowlers Alan Reid and Drake were soon in the wickets as Star battled through to be 34-5 at the 20 over break.
In reply Waimate lost 2 wickets with the score at 11 but then Drake took over placing the ball in gaps, running well between the wickets or punishing bad balls with boundaries. He had a strong ally in opener Hayden Matthews as they took the score through to 80 before Matthews miscued a hook shot of Alex McDuff to be out for 19.
Drake got stuck on 44 as spectators eagerly awaited his half century and then when he finally got some strike in the 20th over he almost holed out to backward square to score two, and then a bad throw led to 2 overthrows as he went to the break 48 not out.
One of the vagaries of the new format now raised its head as Waimate with a lead of 61 already, went about dismissing Star without having to bat again. Chief destroyer was Drake who added 3 more wickets to his existing haul and despite a better effort by the lower order Star were eventually dismissed for 78 meaning that Waimate had won by 7 wickets, but that Drake would not get the chance to continue his innings and post a half century.
I’m sure he will remind me there is no ‘I’ in team and will be happy to get a first win under his belt.
Next weekend should see some interesting matchups as Celtic travel to Waimate and Temuka come up against Timaru.