Left-armer Stark takes perfect 10

For most sportspeople, that magical day where you can't put a foot wrong and everything falls into place is something they search for their entire life.

For Marlborough cricketer Ben Stark, Saturday was undoubtedly one of those days.

When he and his Marlborough senior rep side team-mates turned up at Greymouth's Arthur Fong Park for their zone three Hawke Cup match against West Coast, Stark was a promising member of the team with just two rep caps and four wickets to his name.

By lunchtime he had written himself into Marlborough cricket history, achieving something so rare it had not been done in the 150 years the Marlborough team has been in existence.

A member of the Wairau club, first-change bowler Stark claimed all 10 wickets to fall as West Coast were all out for just 65 batting first. From 10.4 action-packed overs of left-arm swing bowling, he finished with the remarkable figures of 10-24.

Not only had he just become the first player to take all 10 wickets in an innings for Marlborough, he had broken an 118-year-old record held by F Blizzard, who bagged 9-26 against Nelson on Christmas Day 1894.

The Nelson Mail