Partnership gives Wairau last-over win

WAYNE MARTIN AND CLAY WILSON
Last updated 09:23 18/02/2013

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Grove Tavern Wairau eased home at the death as Criterion Hotel Wairau Valley crashed and burned in conspicuously contrasting Kelvin Scoble Trophy Nelson/Marlborough combined competition results on Saturday.

Marty Vercoe helped guide Wairau home with five balls to spare in their one-day fixture against Wakatu at Victory Square in Nelson, while Wairau Valley could only muster an abysmal 44 runs in a crushing loss to Motueka at Motueka's Memorial Park.

A superb 132-run fourth wicket partnership between Vercoe and Ben Stark eased Wairau to a six-wicket last-over win against Wakatu at Victory Square.

Vercoe secured the win when he ran Malcolm Mitchell's first delivery of the final over down to the third man boundary at 266 for 4, leaving Vercoe unbeaten on 82 after hitting seven fours and a six.

Wakatu's earlier effort of 262 for 7 wasn't enough, despite Campbell McLean also finishing unbeaten on 76 and having featured in a 91-run fifth wicket stand with Dan Hooper (45).

Vercoe and Stark dominated Wairau's run chase after opener Geoff Barnett (20) and Colin Wood (54) had also played key roles in sustaining some early momentum. Wood's half century included eight fours and a six.

Vercoe survived two lives to take toll of some indifferent bowling and poor Wakatu fielding as Stark's equally impressive 81-run innings provided the perfect foil. Stark hit 10 fours and two sixes as the pair helped lift the total from 129 for 3 at the fall of Wood's wicket to effectively steer the team home.

Wakatu opener Mark Gill (37) had earlier hit six fours in a handy top order response although most of the onus eventually fell on McLean and Hooper to anchor the innings. Wairau's experienced slow bowlers, left armer Greg Logan (1-21) and offspinner Nick d'Auvergne (2-37) helped slow the run rate through the middle stages before an unbroken 82-run eighth wicket stand between Mclean and Greg Du Feu, who hit four sixes and two fours in his unbeaten 44, offered some late defiance.

Dismember

Motueka seam bowler Karl Mytton captured six wickets to help dismember an undermanned Wairau Valley for just 44 runs at Memorial Park on the way to a comprehensive 215-run victory.

Mytton finished with magnificent figures of 6 for 12 off nine as Motueka required just 18.5 overs to complete a one-sided rout against the Blenheim side fielding only 10 players.

Chasing Motueka's competitive total of 259, Matthew Stretch was the only Wairau Valley batsman to reach double figures, the young wicketkeeper-batsman scoring 12 runs as his team mates offered minimal resistance.

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Bryan Krammer had topscored in Motueka's innings, the former representative batsman's 67-run contribution part of an 82-run sixth wicket stand with Dan Rae (48) that helped lift the total from a moderate 128 for five to 210 when Rae offered a return catch to bowler Greg Stretch in the 41st over. Krammer's innings included eight fours and a straight six.

Opener Kurt Pahl (38), John Ogilvie (37) and an unbeaten 24 from Liam Rowling helped to maintain the momentum, Pahl and Ogilvie adding a restorative 58 runs together for the third wicket as Wairau Valley's bowlers continued to chip away. Sam Boyce enjoyed Wairau Valley's best return with 4 for 35 while Richard Hagen (2-57) and Stretch (2-41) offered support.

In other Kelvin Scoble matches, there was also an early finish at the Botanics where Stoke-Nayland took just 34 overs to complete a five wicket win over Athletic College Old Boys. After dismissing ACOB for 121 in the 36th over, Stoke-Nayland easily reached their target at 122 for 5 with Darius Skeaping (31) and Alex Coles (38) the leading runscorers.

Waimea Toi Toi United's unbeaten run also came to an end at Jubilee Park where Wanderers got home by 67-runs. Opener Adam Leonard top-scored with 61 in Wanderers' total of 252 before their bowlers dismissed WTTU for just 185 off 37 overs, Greg Hay finishing unbeaten on 80.

Powered

In Blenheim, another good knock from Chris Gibb powered Biddy Kates Celtic to a 117-run win over Guthrie Bowron Renwick in a round two SBS Bank Marlborough one-day competition fixture on Horton Park No 1.

Following his maiden senior ton against Motueka and 39 in the T20 final win over Valley, Gibb lead the way with 84 as Celtic posted a very healthy 289 after being sent in by Renwick skipper Mike Bown. Renwick were all out for 172 in the 41st over in reply, young wicketkeeper/batsman and opener Adeel Shafique's aggressive 71-ball knock of 78 the only innings of note.

Earlier, anything over 200 looked liked it would be defendable on a low and slow surface, but another well-timed innings from Gibb ensured Celtic made Renwick's chase a difficult prospect.

Celtic were 62-3 when impressive young medium-pacer Braden Stewart got rid of Josh Poole (6) in the 15th over. Things could have been even better for Renwick if the Ben Weaver delivery which saw Gibb caught from just his fourth ball had not been deemed an over the waist no-ball. A 52-ball 47, including six fours and a six, from No 5 Weaver dominated a 69-run stand with Gibb and eventually got the Celtic innings going and by the time Weaver went at 131-4, Gibb had the pace of the pitch and was able to up the tempo himself.

After facing 87 balls and hitting nine fours and two sixes, Gibb was stumped by Shafique from Richard Marshall's bowling at 216-6.

However, with nearly 10 overs to go, Gibb had set his side up for a healthy total and McLennan took advantage of that platform. The lofty right-hander swung away six fours in the later stages and faced just 34-balls for his 43, very nearly taking his side to 300 before they were all out from the final ball of the 48th over.

Weaver was the most successful Renwick bowler, taking 3-52 from eight, but Stewart was comfortably the pick of their attack, claiming two wickets and conceding just 30 from his 10-over allotment.

After McLennan removed Vaughan Wolland and Damian Sexton with just 16 runs on the board, Shafique and No 4 George Kenny stabilised the Renwick chase. But, just when they looked to be getting the innings back on track, former Central Districts seamer Brent Hefford came into the attack for Celtic. Hefford skittled Kenny (14) from the first ball of the 16th over and trapped Corey Bovey in front for a first-ball duck. Richard Marshall survived the hat-trick ball, but was caught behind the very next delivery as Renwick slumped to 52-5.

Shafique hit 14 boundaries in his better than a run-a-ball innings, but when he nicked one to keeper Andy Fitzpatrick trying to glide a Raj Singh delivery to third-man at 126-7, Renwick's slim chances of victory were all but over. The lower-order managed to add another 46 runs before Patrick Crannitch bowled second top-scorer Stewart (18) to seal a convincing Celtic win.

Hefford (3-46 from 10) and McLennan (2-10 from five) did the bulk of the damage at the top of the innings, while left-arm off-spinner Grant Dunn, who came up from second grade, bowled 10 overs straight and snared 3-49.

- The Marlborough Express

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