Motueka, Wanderers in tight duel
Home team Motueka and Wanderers got the jump on the rest of the field on a rain-affected first day to round four of the Nelson two-day cricket competition.
While play was abandoned at the two Nelson venues on Saturday, the bowlers prospered on a lively, green pitch at Motueka's Memorial Park.
Sprig and Fern Tavern Motueka's left-arm seamer Andy Beatson claimed an impressive seven wicket bag to help dismiss Taylor's Construction Wanderers for just 126 runs in their first innings before Wanderers' English allrounder Jack White bagged five wickets in reply as Motueka went to stumps at 101 for 7.
It left the game finely balanced and with outright points clearly on the table as both teams struggled for runs in bowler-friendly conditions.
Motueka batsman Bryan Krammer proved the exception, the experienced right-hander ending the day on 50 not out after he had helped to resurrect a struggling Motueka innings.
Beatson had earlier dominated with the ball, claiming his first wicket with just his second delivery before finishing with superb figures of 7 for 34.
Only White, in an effective all-round performance, and Jesse Pitman were able to deny Motueka's attack by scoring 31 and 30 runs respectively.
But Motueka were also quickly in trouble and at 10 for 4, with White claiming all four wickets, and then 47 for 6, looked in danger of utter capitulation.
Krammer's dogged resistance, with critical support from Jordan Smart, steadily enabled Motueka to claw their way back into the contest. The pair added 53 runs for the seventh wicket as Wanderers' bowlers struggled to control a wet ball after rain forced the players off the park for about an hour.
Smart's dismissal for 21 at 100 for 7 helped Wanderers stem the home team's momentum, with Motueka ending the day still 25 runs behind but with three wickets in hand.
White ended the day with figures of 5 for 38, while Krammer's innings included four fours and a six.
- The Nelson Mail