Masters left to stew on meagre total as Nelson turn tables

WAYNE MARTIN
Last updated 13:00 10/12/2012

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Nelson have waited a year to happily return the favour.

Pumped by seven wickets last year in their corresponding clash, Nelson yesterday completed a comprehensive six-wicket reversal over the MoleMap Masters in their representative Twenty20 cricket match at Saxton Oval.

The name was different and clearly so was the result. Last year, playing as the New Zealand Players' Association Masters, the visitors showed too much experience and batting class for the Nelson side. Yesterday though, Nelson easily reached their 91-run target when Connor Neynens hoisted offspinner Geoff Barnett over square leg for six off the first ball of the 11th over of Nelson's reply.

The Masters team, skippered by former New Zealand batsman Mark Greatbatch, simply never put enough runs on the board, with only opening batsman Barnett and former Nelson and Central Districts allrounder Andrew Schwass reaching double figures. Barnett topscored with 33 runs off as many balls, including five fours and a six off Marty King, while Schwass contributed 15 runs off 17 balls at No 7 , hitting just two fours.

Otherwise, the predominantly left-handed batting lineup of former Nelson and CD players were left languishing against Nelson's largely slow ball attack on a slowish deck which saw the visitors dismissed for just 90 runs with 15 balls remaining.

Nelson left-arm spinner Dan Wightman finished with excellent figures of 4 for 14 as the only Nelson bowler to complete his full four-over quota, while offspinners Luke Toynbee (2-17) and Greg Hay (2-6) each made steady inroads into a constantly pressured Masters batting lineup.

Nelson skipper B J Barnett appeared set to anchor Nelson's reply, lofting consecutive sixes back over offspinner Glen Sulzberger's head on his way to a brisk 25 off just 12 balls. But he was gone at 42 for 2, out lbw to Brent Hefford, as Ricky Edwards assumed the responsibility to help ease Nelson closer to their target.

Prolific throughout the summer, Greg Hay missed out yesterday, out lbw for two at 54 for 3.

Then, with victory in sight, Edwards' breezy innings was ended when he danced down the track to legspinner Tim Anderson and was stumped for 38 off 25 balls at 84 for four.

Edwards' innings included six fours and 16 runs off former Nelson and CD allrounder Dave Leonard's only over.

Neynens and Ryan Edwards comfortably saw the victory through, with Hefford's 2 for 10 off his two overs clearly earmarking the tall ex-Marlborough seamer as the Masters' leading bowler.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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