Nelson beat Buller by innings
Nelson's representative team has beaten the weather and an outclassed opposition to take another significant step towards the zone-three Hawke Cup challenge.
Nelson wrapped up another comprehensive Hawke Cup victory when they beat Buller by an innings and 18 runs early into yesterday's second session at Buller High School.
Despite the loss of more than two hours' play through rain on Saturday, yesterday's fine weather and another accomplished performance by Nelson's bowlers eventually saw Buller rolled for just 59 runs in their second innings after having capitulated for just 98 in their first dig early on Saturday.
Nelson's batsmen had also struggled at times in reaching their first-innings total of 175 as some effective Buller bowling and a slow outfield combined to restrict Nelson's hopes of a much bigger score. But it proved irrelevant in the finish as Nelson took just 25.3 overs to wrap up Buller's second innings and move to a commanding position in the zone-three reckoning after two outright wins and a first-innings result against Marlborough already in the bag. Nelson now meet Canterbury Country in Nelson in two weeks time.
Nelson took control from the outset on Saturday, with Buller's innings in danger of total collapse until a 71-run fifth-wicket partnership between skipper Troy Scanlon and Jesse Elley helped rescue the home team from four for two to a more respectable 73 for five when Elley was finally caught off the bowling of left-arm spinner Marty Kain for 34.
Scanlon went just one run later, also for 34, to end any further resistance, despite a dogged 15-run contribution off 42 balls from No 8 batsman Frano Volckman.
Seamer Marty King (3-9) and spinners Kain (3-30) and BJ Barnett (3-16) each took three wickets in a concerted all-round bowling performance.
In reply, Nelson encountered some speed bumps at 58 for three before a 74-run fourth-wicket stand between Barnett and Ryan Edwards eventually gave them a first innings lead. They'd ended the day at 117 for three when rain prematurely ended play, the pair carrying on yesterday morning until Edwards' run out for 43 at 132 for four also prompted an unexpected late collapse.
Nelson added only 43 runs for the remaining five wickets, Barnett also falling just short of his half century for 48, before the declaration came at 175 for nine. Edwards and Barnett each hit five boundaries.
Nelson's bowlers proved even more effective yesterday in their bid to avoid Nelson batting a second time. Only two Buller batsmen reached double figures in their second innings, Vaughan Oldham contributing 15 from No 8, with Andrew Duncan's the last wicket to fall for 29 as King (4-11) and Darius Skeaping (2-16) led a dominant Nelson bowling effort.
Nelson selector Andrew Cavill was well satisfied with the performance, particularly by his bowlers and a supportive field. "We obviously wanted to have a bowl first and we did that and basically bowled them out in a session," Cavill said.
"That was a good effort and then to get 117 for three by 4 o'clock [on Saturday] when the rain came in to get a first innings [lead] was obviously another target.
"This morning [Sunday] was perhaps the only point when we let ourselves down a little bit when we wanted to bat at least another hour or hour and a bit and push up to 200 but hopefully only four or five down.
"We perhaps just lost a little bit there, but then we went out and the guys bowled and fielded really well. We took our chances, held our catches and the fielding was really good as well."
- The Nelson Mail