Timaru’s Prabodha Arthavidu and Sam Porter stepped up when it counted on Saturday.
The pair showed their class to guide Timaru back to the top of the standings in the South Canterbury club cricket one-day competition with a seven-wicket win over Temuka.
Batting at first drop and five respectively, they combined for an 89 run partnership to help get Timaru over the line.
Temuka’s Warren Morgan hits one to the leg side against Timaru at Ashbury Park.
Arthavidu, the best batsman in South Canterbury hit a superb 71, while Porter scored a run a ball 40.
Following a hiccup last weekend against Star when they failed to fire and were bundled out for 99, the Timaru batsmen took it upon themselves to overhaul the challenging Temuka target of 172, which they did with with eight balls to spare.
Temuka started well after being put into bat.
Willie Stone and Nathan Sew Hoy put on 54 for the opening wicket before the latter fell caught to Sam Wilson for 27.
Sew Hoy smacked two sixes in his 28-ball stay.
Stone was more conservative, facing 52 balls for his 32 before falling to Timaru’s captain Arthavidu and with the score at 91-2 it looked as though Temuka would get a big score.
Glen Drake made 25 and Will Morgan 48 not out as they stuttered in the back half of the innings to miss out on a perfect chance to post 200.
Timaru bowled really and used their spinners and slower bowlers to perfection.
Josh Smallridge picked up three wickets, while Arthavidu and Jayathilake claimed two each.
Sasindu Nanayakkara and Josh Smallridge started the run chase brightly for Timaru, scoring 39 in their partnership.
However a lapse in concentration from Nanayakkara, who tried to be over-exuberant, saw him hit a ball straight to Nick Maguire and depart for 22.
Smallridge (20) ran himself shortly after and Jayathilake failed for the first time this season, leaving plenty for Arthavidu and Porter to do.
They timed it perfectly and upped the speed of the chase when required.
Meanwhile, a five wicket haul to Pleasant Point seam bowler Brad Tegelaars was not enough to spur his side to victory with Celtic winning by 25 runs.
Tegelaars helped Point bowl Celtic out for 151.
At 10-3 the defending champions were in early trouble but a fighting 62 from James Laming and support from Tom Pavletich (22) in his first game back and Glenn Matthews (17) helped Celtic set a competitive 151.
It was a good performance from Point with the ball.
While Tegelaars starred, he received good support from Geoff McFarlane, 1-11 off nine overs and Alex Lankeshwar, who claimed two wickets including the key one of Laming.
Pleasant Point stuttered through their innings with Adam Beck’s 55 and McFarlane’s 22 keeping them in it.
Beck’s return to form was timely, but his departure to Pavletich late in the innings triggered a mini collapse with Laming picking up the final three wickets in one over to end the clash.
James Blackstock picked up three wickets through the middle to put the breaks on Point’s innings, while Matthews chipped in with two.
Timaru lead the way on 18 points Celtic second with 15, Star on 12, Temuka 9 and Pleasant Point 6.
Next weekend sees the beginning of round two take place with Temuka hosting Star and Pleasant Point playing at home for the first time this season against Timaru.
Short scorecards Celtic 151 all out (J Laming 62, T Pavletich 22, G Matthews 16; B Tegelaars 9-1-5-14, A Lankeshwar 9-2-2-23, G McFarlane 9-2-1-11) bet Pleasant Point 127 (A Beck 55, G McFarlane 22; J Lamine 2.4-0-3-10, J Blackstock 8-3-3-19, G Matthews 9-0-2-27) by 25 runs.
Temuka 172 all out (W Morgan 48 not out, W Stone 32, N Sew Hoy 27, G Drake 25; J Smallridge 6-0-23, S Jayathilake 8-2-2-17, P Arthavidu 8-0-2-35) lost to Timaru 174-3 (P Arthavidu 71, S Porter 40, S Nanayakkara 22, J Smallridge 20) by six wickets.
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