A second innings blitz by Marlborough’s bowling attack spared the senior representative cricket side’s blushes in Westport late last month.
Marlborough came away with an outright win in their first Hawke Cup qualifying match of the season, after being comprehensively outplayed on the first innings.
On their home patch in Westport, Marlborough inserted the home side, who struggled to register a sizeable total, being dismissed for just 148 in the 51st over.
Opener Callum Lennon, with 33 from just 24 balls, led the way along with No 7 batsman Nathan Thompson who amassed an unbeaten 31.
Marlborough’s bowling effort was spearheaded by left arm paceman Nick Weaver, who claimed 4-35 from 14.5 overs. Harry MacDonald was also among the wickets, his 2-40 including the scalps of both Buller openers. Tarin Mason grabbed 2-17, Sam Boyce 1-12 and Bradley Horton 1-17 as the visitors applied the screws in the field.
However, while Buller’s batting looked brittle, Marlborough’s effort was even worse. They were bowled out for just 98 in the 37th over, Three Buller bowlers did the damage. Veteran Troy Scanlon took an astounding 6-36, Sam Jope claimed 2-22 while Ethan Slee bagged 1-24.
Only three Marlborough players managed double figures, Matthew Stretch’s 44 from 86 deliveries standing out like a beacon, while Ma’ara Ave managed 17 and Nick Weaver 16. The visitors lost three wickets for just four runs before the conclusion of the fourth over and never fully recovered.
Trailing by 50 runs and conceding first innings points it was going to take some effort from Marlborough to get anything out of the game and it was their bowlers who began the fightback, dismissing Buller in their second innings for just 86 in 54 overs.
Showing the way was medium pacer Boyce who picked up 5-19 from 19 overs with a fine display of accurate, penetrative bowling. Prabodha Arthavidu bagged 2-10 from seven overs, MacDonald claimed 1-11, Tarin Mason 1-13 and Stretch 1-20 to set up a winning target of 136.
With plenty of overs left on day two the outright result depended on how well Marlborough batted and this time they showed much more resolve.
They got a solid base, courtesy of a 34-run opening partnership between Tom Sutherland (26 from 75) and Joel Lavender (10 from 57) then, when Lavender was dismissed, Arthavidu took control, his 52 runs from 68 balls guiding the visitors home with 48 overs to bowl. He received assistance from Jerrym Lamb (19) and Ave (10) as Marlborough reached 138-5 in 42 overs to claim eight points.
Scanlon and Slee took two wickets apiece.
Buller were awarded seven points for their first innings supremacy.
Marlborough’s next Hawke Cup match is against Nelson, in Nelson, on January 25-26.