Grant Brookland's fine innings of 68 for the Cavaliers, against his old club Timaru, had the potential to cause an upset in the senior cricket Twenty/20 competition on Friday night, while in other matches Temuka, Celtic and Waimate were all too strong for their opposition.
The Cavaliers won the toss and batted first at Aorangi Oval on a beautiful evening although most players found the humidity energy-sapping.
Phil Duffield and Nick Noone got their team off to a solid start, but the arrival at the crease of Brookland changed the tempo of the game markedly.
In one of his best innings in years Brookland dispatched the ball all around the park, and had a particularly long partnership with fellow former representative Todd Elliotte (31no), who was happy to feed him the strike.
The Cavaliers posted a very competitive 153-4, while for Timaru Dwayne Richardson returned the best bowling figures with 3-30 off his four overs.
The Cavaliers struck early with Elliotte removing the dangerous Arthuvidu without scoring in his first over, but then Sam Porter (23) and Josh Smallridge (39) got the chase back on track.
The dismissal of Porter brought Timaru captain Zane Sanders to the crease and he continued his recent good form scoring an often brutal 56, at much better than a run a ball. Mike Davies (2-23) provided their undoing, dismissing both with perhaps his worst two deliveries of the night, but the catches held.
A couple of tidy overs from Robbie Rankin meant that it was not going to be a fait accompli as Timaru went into the final over of the match, before winning with five down.
At Mountainview the visitors Temuka won the toss and decided to bat.
A good opening partnership between Willie Stone (26) and Rory Lorimer (38) set up the Temuka innings as they posted 159-6 from their 20 overs on what appeared to be a slow pitch. Star's best bowler was Danny Campbell with 3-24.
In reply Star quickly lost both openers and with only Glenn Paul (22) and Rob Hickson (33no) making double figures, never really got close, finishing on 100-7, still 60 runs short, while Kevin Kerse's return from illness would have been particularly satisfying for him as he took 4-15 from four overs.
In the Celtic derby, Roncalli/Celtic won the toss and batted first, starting well bringing up their 50 in the eighth over with only one wicket down.
The top four made 100 of the runs with Cooper (40) the best, but then all the credit went to Garrett Casey, bowling for Celtic, who ripped through the middle order taking 3-12 as Roncalli/Celtic posted 128-7.
The response from Celtic was unrepentant losing only one wicket as they cruised to the target in 15 overs with Jimmy Laming (57no) and Jacob Naylor (56no) continuing their good form.
TBHS won the toss in their home match at the Rectory against Waimate and decided to bat first, but were soon in trouble, failing to get partnerships going, and in the end it was up to their coach, Jeremy Hogan filling in at No 9, to show how it should be done as he top-scored with 20 to help his side through to 85. For Waimate Jason Sew Hoy was the destroyer taking 3-5 when opening the bowling.
In reply Waimate lost only three wickets as they cruised home in the 13th over.
These results mean that Timaru are likely to qualify top in their pool with the Cavaliers playing Waimate in a sudden death match to gain the other spot.
The other pool will see Temuka and Celtic playoff for top spot, when duties resume on January 17.
- The Timaru Herald