Painful wait for Edwards, 99no
Ryan Edwards now has the entire week to consider his fate after ending day one of round three of the Nelson two-day cricket series just one run short of a century.
Car Company Stoke-Nayland's skipper went to stumps on Saturday unbeaten on 99 with his team again ideally placed to consolidate their competition lead. And the right-hander ended the day in spectacular fashion, hammering 26 runs off Sprig and Fern Tavern Motueka bowler Duncan Cederman's final over, including five fours and a six, to leave him just one agonising run shy of his milestone with Stoke-Nayland already a healthy 162 runs ahead at 218 for three.
But while Edwards was left brooding in Stoke, Harrington's Beer Cafe Waimea Toi Toi United batsman Greg Hay was already celebrating a superb century at Victory Square, the experienced right-hander ending the day unbeaten on 120 as WTTU also had home team Randles Cafe and Bar Wakatu on the ropes.
With WTTU entering the round 11 points behind leaders Stoke-Nayland, WTTU were doing their best to stay in touch after ending the day with a handy 103-run lead.
However, it was Stoke-Nayland's seam bowlers who had set up the day superbly at the Marsden Rec, dismissing a handy Motueka batting lineup for just 56 runs in their first innings. All five bowlers performed wonderfully after Motueka skipper Kurt Pahl had surprisingly opted to bat in bowler-friendly conditions.
Darius Skeaping (3-26) and Dylan Eginton (3-19) were the leading wicket-takers, although opening bowler Marty King finished with exceptional figures of two for three off eight immaculate overs, including five maidens. Mitchell Ross (1-4) and Josh Sansom (1-1) also contributed to the wreckage as only two Motueka batsmen, John Ogilvie (15) and Liam Baird (14) scored double figures.
Stoke-Nayland lost only the wicket of opener Ben Homan (26) before establishing a first innings lead, achieved when Edwards hoisted Liam Rowling over the square leg boundary for six. Edwards added 89 runs with Skeaping for the second wicket, the latter completing a useful all-round display with 50 runs at the top of the order, including four fours.
Edwards hit 11 fours and three sixes, with Brent O'Hagan also unbeaten on 17 when play ended.
Meanwhile at Victory Square, Hay produced the day's stellar batting performance after combining in a massive 175-run second-wicket partnership with opening batsman Steve Binnie to comfortably ease their team past Wakatu's inadequate 118-run first innings total.
WTTU ended the day at a commanding 221 for three, Hay having produced an exceptional innings, including 18 fours and two sixes, after his bowlers had again done their job against an inconsistent Wakatu batting lineup. Oscar Barkle had offered the best resistance with an unbeaten 29 runs at No 7, with Matt Macquet having also contributed a valuable 23 further up the order.
But with WTTU's bowlers in the ascendancy, there was minimal resistance from the rest of the order, despite a 20-run salvo from Bud Jackson at No 9. Jon Routhan bowled economically for his four wickets, conceding just 12 runs off his eight overs, as Cade Armstrong (3-32), Symon Carr (2-38) and Danny Watson (2-12) also proved effective.
In reply, opener Routhan (1) went with the total at 19, leaving Binnie and Hay to effectively bring Wakatu to their knees, Binnie's 57-run innings ended with a run-out at a commanding 191 for two. Binnie's innings included nine fours.
Both home team Athletic College Old Boys and Taylor's Contracting Wanderers were fighting for the ascendancy at the Botanics where Wanderers ended the day at 87 for four in reply to ACOB's 140.
It required a dogged 53-run fifth-wicket partnership between Sam Burgess and Josh Clarkson for ACOB to rescue their innings from total collapse after Wanderers' bowlers had also dominated.
Representative seamer Joe O'Connor bowled with pace and disconcerting swing to remove three of ACOB's top four batsmen as the home team slumped to an alarming 14 for four. Burgess (47) and Clarkson (24) staged a recovery of sorts, although when Clarkson went at 67 for five, left-hander Marty Kain joined Burgess in a 50-run stand to offer hope before Burgess departed at 117 for six.
Kain contributed 37 valuable runs, but with ACOB's last five wickets falling for just 23 runs, Wanderers' bowlers justifiably claimed the initial honours. O'Connor (4-22) and Englishman Jack White (4-36) did damage at both ends of the innings as White quickly wrapped up the tail, while Connor Neynens also finished with two for 28.
In reply, Dan Cooper (27) and Adam Leonard (21) gave Wanderers a useful start with their 43-run opening stand. But quick inroads by ACOB's bowlers, with left-arm spinner Kain taking two for seven, had the home team back in the hunt as Wanderers reached stumps 53 runs behind with six wickets in hand.
- The Nelson Mail