WTTU in a very happy place

WAYNE MARTIN
Last updated 13:00 11/02/2013

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Unbeaten Waimea Toi Toi United are sniffing another club cricket title after claiming an important scalp in Nelson's one-day championship series.

After securing the Nelson two-day title earlier in the season, Harringtons Beer Cafe WTTU are already a safe bet for a place in the Nelson one-day final after Saturday's convincing 83-run win over Car Company Stoke-Nayland at the Marsden Rec.

A Mark Gardiner century highlighted Sprig and Fern Tavern Motueka's 125-run victory over Randles Cafe and Bar Wakatu at Motueka, and Athletic College Old Boys also won impressively, against home team Taylors Contracting Wanderers at Brightwater.

The contest on Stoke-Nayland's home pitch was unusually low-scoring, WTTU easily defending their 192-run total to roll the hosts for just 109 in 40.1 overs.

The bowling was tight at the top of both innings, but WTTU made better ground through several handy batting contributions before relying on their effective bowling attack to keep the pressure on Stoke-Nayland's batsmen.

WTTU openers Steve Binnie and Dan Wightman each scored 19 to provide an early foundation in their 43-run stand. Craig Ingham (40) hit the innings' top score, although valuable knocks from Mason Thelin (17), Cade Armstrong (24) - including consecutive sixes back over bowler Josh Sansom's head - and a late 18 runs from Sam Baxendine proved critical in the context of the low-scoring match.

Mitchell Ross (4-27) ended the innings with the wickets of Sam and Andy Baxendine off consecutive deliveries in the final over.

Stoke-Nayland's run chase never got into gear as Jon Routhan and Andy Baxendine applied the clamps from the outset. Baxendine's effort included five maidens, and he had immaculate figures of 1-9 after eight overs before three boundaries in his final two overs inflated his return.

Routhan was snaring wickets at the other end, as only opener Ben Homan (36) showed any adhesive qualities. Darius Skeaping (15) and young Kendall Hodson (18) were the only other Stoke-Nayland batsmen to reach double figures.

Routhan finished with 4-22 in an impressive performance, while Sam Baxendine chimed in with 2-17 off his six overs.

At Brightwater, Wanderers' batsmen failed to support a rampant Tom Cross as the home team slumped to a heavy 78-run loss to Athletic College Old Boys.

Chasing ACOB's competitive total of 243 for 8, opener Cross eventually blasted his way to a game-high 86. But it was an ultimately futile exercise, as only No 7 Joe O'Connor (39) provided any assistance down the order before Wanderers capitulated for just 165 in the 31st over.

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A half-century by Marlborough representative batsman Josh Clarkson had helped to anchor ACOB's innings, in which the middle order and tail-enders provided some contrasting substance.

Clarkson's 59-run contribution, including eight fours, helped to salvage the innings from a shaky 65 for 4.

Marty Kain (34), Luke Toynbee (43) and Dan Grimes combined to lift the total to a respectable 237 for 8 before Grimes became Wanderers seamer Jack White's fourth victim (4-51), bowled for 37 in the 49th over.

Wanderers' run chase began sensationally, with 22 runs coming off the first over - bowled, coincidentally, by Cross' brother Matt.

Tom Cross clearly signalled his intentions, hitting the second of his eventual six sixes off a no ball, and also cracking a four and a single, with Adam Leonard collecting a four at the other end.

It was to be a fleeting assault, however, as Wanderers' innings hit a tailspin at 93 for 5.

Cross and O'Connor staged a minor recovery with their 52-run partnership for the sixth wicket. But after Cross finally went at 145 for 6, trapped lbw by left arm spinner Kain, only 20 further runs were added before ACOB's bowlers completed the rout.

Clarkson's fine all-round contribution left him as ACOB's leading wicket-taker (3-30), while Kain (2-28) and Toynbee (2-20) maintained the pressure.

Former Nelson representative captain Mark Gardiner doesn't play much these days, but he still knows how to make an impact.

Gardiner provided the day's batting highlight with a classy 107-run innings for Motueka at Memorial Park to help steer his team to a comprehensive 125-run win over Wakatu.

Gardiner dominated virtually the first 40 overs of Motueka's innings, hitting 12 fours and three sixes before he was trapped lbw by Greg Du Feu at 169 for 5 in the 38th over.

With Motueka's top five batsmen back in the pavilion, Wakatu sensed an opportunity to restrict the home team to a moderate total.

However, some productive late hitting by Dan Rae, Liam Rowling and Andy Beatson revived Motueka's innings, Rae and Rowling (14) adding a further 46 runs for the seventh wicket before Rae joined Beatson in an unbroken 32-run eighth-wicket stand to help push the score through to an impressive 267 for 7 at the close. Rae finished unbeaten on 43 and Beatson on 20.

At 93 for 6 in reply, Wakatu's run chase failed to gain any early traction as opener Giles Black (28), Richie Wilkinson (19) and Matt Macquet (22) made vain attempts to stabilise the innings.

A late 26-run contribution by No 9 batsman Jay Wright offered some late resistance before he went lbw to Rae in the 41st over to end a lopsided contest.

The combined efforts of Rowling (3-42), Karl Mytton (2-32), left arm spinner Chris Bayard (2-9) and a miserly 1-11 from Rae off eight overs contributed to Wakatu's early demise.

- The Nelson Mail

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