Englishman Curtly Slatter announced his arrival in South Canterbury senior cricket with a defiant 80 not out on Saturday.
His unbeaten knock under pressure helped Temuka to a 66-run win over Roncalli/Celtic at Ashbury Park 6.
The teenager combined with Magpie stalwart Hayden Broker (58) for a match defining partnership. The pair came together at 70-4 after the visitors had slumped to lose four wickets for 20 runs. The pair produced a gritty 126-run stand with Broker the aggressor.
When Broker departed, Slatter, who was on 35, took control of the last 10 overs as he spearheaded Temuka’s finale at more than nine runs an over with a myriad of shots square of the wicket. His efforts helped Temuka to an imposing 229-5 from 45 overs.
Adam Beck was the pick of the bowlers with 1-16 from his six overs, but the bowling attack struggled for penetration after doing well to dismiss the top order as quickly as they did.
Roncalli/Celtic’s run chase lacked early momentum and it wasn’t until Brett Walker (27) and Adam Beck (49) took the score from 53-5 to 93 that they had any form of solidity.
Sam Ellis (22) then added 56 for the seventh wicket but when he became one of medium pacer Vaughan Tarrant’s three victims, the run chase was effectively over.
Timaru successfully defended 162 to claim a 37-run win on a pitch that was tough to bat on.
Josh Smallridge (46) and Prabodha Arthavidu (39) helped Timaru get to 153-4 until they lost their last six wickets for just nine runs once wicketkeeper Tim Mackle limped off with a groin injury.
Jonathan Roguski took three wickets while former South Canterbury Cricket seamer Simon Murphy grabbed two wickets in his first match of the season. Arthavidu then turned destroyer with the ball.
On a pitch lacking pace and bounce, his offspin was just what was needed. His 3-15 and Sam Porter’s 3-24 put the breaks on the run chase quickly.
Star were no match for Celtic at the Celtic Sports Grounds. The visitors only showed up with nine players and apart from opener Phil McGregor who made 42, no-one was able to make an impression with the bat.
All the Celtic bowlers gave few runs away with the medium pace of Dan Laming taking 3-12 from 8.4 overs, while Tom Pavletich took 3-20.
Star’s lowly 119 was never going to cut it. Andy Scott (44) and James Laming (34) added 63 for the opening partnership and despite two wickets from Hamish Dickson, the home team cruised to the target in the 22nd over.