A devastating spell of 6-13 from Celtic opening bowler Ben Watson helped them make it through to the South Canterbury Twenty20 cricket final, last night.
His spell helped Celtic defend 117-7 against Timaru, who could muster just 65 in reply at Ashbury Park 4.
Celtic will play Waimate in the final at Aorangi Oval on Waitangi Day.
Waimate won by four wickets over Temuka after Simon Murphy secured a boundary off the last ball of the game thanks to a misfield.
Temuka posted 163-6 on the back of Johnny Geddis’ 58.
However, half centuries to Nathan Sew Hoy (52) and Glen Drake (58) got Waimate in position with Murphy through some inventive shot selection, and the help of a wide and 4 byes able to get the 13-runs they needed for victory off the last over when a leg glance was unable to be prevented from crossing the boundary at fine leg.
Timaru will rue the golden opportunity that their batsmen wasted by falling 52 runs short.
Timaru spinner Zane Sanders was able to remove South Canterbury captain James Laming for one in just the third over after Celtic chose to bat first.
The pitch seemed slow which made it hard to time strokes.
Fellow opener Jacob Naylor worked hard trying to get quick singles with quick running between the wickets.
An expansive cover drive from the dangerous Glenn Matthews was all he could muster before he was bowled by Brad Leonard with the score on 23 in the sixth over.
After going at four runs an over for the first seven, Naylor opened up by hitting a six and a four off consecutive balls.
However when he departed for 34, Celtic were forced to try to rebuild yet again.
Gerrit Roux added 23 but with the spinners taking the pace off the ball, scoring was tough.
A couple of late boundaries from Ben Watson (18 not out) got Celtic to a competitive 117-7.
Brad Leonard bowled three overs and conceded six runs while picking up the wicket of Matthews. Nick Galwey and Josh Dick also took two wickets.
It was a watchful start from Timaru’s opening pair Prabodha Arthavidu and Sam Porter.
They lost their first wicket when Glenn Matthews took a great reflex catch to dismiss Porter from Watson’s bowling.
It was double delight for Watson when Arthavidu edged one through to wicket-keeper Naylor for just eight.
Zane Sanders departed two balls for later, Watson had three and Timaru were wobbling at 28 for three.
It got worse for Timaru as the usually solid Tim Mackle had his off stump ripped out of the ground by Watson.
Watson had his five wicket bag when he bowled Brad Leonard two balls later and Josh Smallridge was caught on Watson’s final ball of his spell.
Timaru were reduced to 37-6 after eight overs, down and almost out at 49-8 before limping to 65 inside 16 overs.