Celtic’s incredible run of Twenty20 success continues, outclassing Timaru by 48 runs in last night’s club cricket final.
Celtic have not lost a Twenty20 final since the competition’s inception five years ago and went into the final unbeaten this season too.
The defending champions won the toss in abysmal conditions at Aorangi and set about amassing a big total.
Boundary-hitting was the order of the day early on, the first single coming off the bat of William Wright when the score was 20.
Wright was seeing it well and lifted Dwayne Richardson and Zane Sanders onto the banks as Timaru’s tactic of using five different bowlers in the power play backfired.
After a good opening stand Matthews was eventually stumped off the bowling of Prabodha Arthavidu for 29.
Wright responded to his partner’s dismissal by opening his shoulders even more, playing some brutish strokes as he brought up his 50 in the 11th over.
Tim Butler snuck a slower ball through Wright in the next over as Timaru tried to put the squeeze on.
A man in the reasonably sized crowd – given the wind and persistent drizzle – took a prize-winning catch off a Sam Carlaw six as Celtic pushed on.
Sanders had his opposite, Carlaw, stumped for 35 in the 17th over and then trapped Jacob Naylor lbw for a duck.
Timaru were lively in the field but did themselves no favours by dropping Dan Laming twice.
Celtic’s best batsman made them pay in the final over of the innings, taking 22 off it including one into the gutters of the Aorangi Pavilion as Celtic posted 183-5.
In response, Timaru’s Hayden Leonard (11) set about knocking off the runs in quick time and nailed a couple in the middle.
But it was at the other end where Timaru’s hopes lay and when Arthavidu nibbled at a Brad Watson delivery and was caught behind for one, Celtic could taste victory.
Watson (1-14) bowled out and at 27-2 after six overs Timaru were well behind the rate.
Sanders and Josh Dick set about building a partnership.
Not even the handle on Dick’s bat snapping could put him off but every dot bowled by Celtic put Timaru further behind.
Laming (0-17) was miserly as the increasing darkness played into Celtic’s hands.
Sanders departed for a run-a-ball 38 in the 17th over.
Dick brought up his 50 with successive sixes but when he departed to Carlaw with the score at 120, the extremely unlikely became impossible.