New-look Oval hosts tight cricket tussle
Premier club cricket returned to Hagley Oval for the first time since its redevelopment on Saturday and supporters were treated to an even contest between foundation clubs Riccarton and St Albans.
Riccarton posted 203 batting first on the back of knocks by Arnie Yugaraja (56), Nick McConchie (40) and Ben Rapson (40).
Duncan Anderson (5-51) and Michael Davidson (3-45) were strong with the ball for Saints, while wicketkeeper Aaron Johnstone claimed five catches - a sign that the Hagley Oval pitch passed its first test with flying colours as it had a bit in it for the batsmen and good carry for the bowlers.
Davidson had a strong all-round day after he clubbed 60 in the Saints reply of 162-5, while Josh Peters (35) and Ben Langrope (32no) chipped in to give Saints a slender advantage heading into day two next week despite Chris Mugford's 4-34.
Marist-Harewood returned to form in a big way on the back of a stylish century by Cole McConchie to take first day honours in their match with Sydenham at Sydenham Park.
McConchie's 153 was the first century of the 2012-13 club season in any format.
It laid the backbone of Marist's total of 261-7 while Ben McCord added 45 on his return from a groin injury.
After McConchie's heroics with the bat it was Dan Thomas' turn with the ball as he ripped through the often fragile Sydenham batting lineup with figures of 6-18 off his seven overs to ensure the home side followed on after posting a meagre 104.
Thomas struck again before stumps with Sydenham needing a miracle to save the game at 7-1 in their second innings, a deficit of 150.
East Shirley held the edge against Burnside West-University at Burnside Park despite not producing one of their better batting efforts this season.
Ben Hanham top scored with 24 in their modest total of 117.
Matt Farrant (3-29) was the pick of BWU's bowlers as he ripped through Easts' dangerous middle order.
But then Easts were dominant with ball. Jared Roberts (4-15) took care of the top order and Ryan Burson (5-9) skittled the lower order in their innings of 72.
Buoyed by their bowling performance, Easts then stamped their mark on the game, as Hamish Teale raced to 44no in their second innings total of 95-4, a lead of 140.
Youngsters Logan van Beek and Theo van Woerkom produced strong spells but Lancaster Park Woolston held the edge after a counter-attacking 40 by James Baxendale put them in a strong position in a low scoring contest with Old Boys Collegians at Garrick Park.
After van Beek (4-18) and van Woerkom (2-36) helped reduce LPW to 124, it was LPW's seamers chance to return the favour as they rolled OBC for 80 on the back of Dean van Deventer spell of 3-20.
LPW reached 64-3 in their second innings, a lead of 108 heading into day two.