Big-hitting Danni Mete, from the victorious Pino Balls team, slams another boundary. Photo: Peter Jones.

Women come out to play

Sixty five enthusiastic women cricketers took part in Sunday’s Churchill Private Hospital Women’s Cricket Festival Day.

Ten teams, some with large numbers of vocal supporters, enjoying the perfect weather as they played a number of six-aside matches. Players batted in pairs, facing two overs each, then all had a chance to bowl an over.

Marlborough Cricket Association general manager Ed Gilhooly said, “We received plenty of positive feedback and judging by the noise around the park it was clear everyone was having a great time”.

Team Pino Balls were the competition winners with Courtney Bowen being adjudged player of the day, her team mate Danni Mete claiming the award for biggest hitter and Kerryn Wood taking out the prize for best catch.

Some of the responses on social media summed up a popular event.

“So much fun….anyone keen for a social game or indoor cricket?

“So much fun today and on Tuesdays. I’ll really miss playing!”

“Loved it! Thanks for roping me in”

The festival will certainly be returning next summer, added Gilhooly.

Tom Sutherland was the best of the Marlborough batsmen at Saxton Oval on Sunday. Photo: Shuttersport.

Nelson retain cricket trophy

The Newman Shield, symbol of one-day cricket superiority in the top of the south, will remain in Nelson hands over the winter after the holders comprehensively outplayed Marlborough at Saxton Oval on Sunday.

Nelson took out the 50-over fixture by 76 runs, scoring 220 from 48 overs batting first them running through the Marlborough batting, dismissing the challengers for a disappointing 144.

Marlborough began well with the ball, getting rid of the two Raxworthy brothers with just 38 runs on the board. However, a 94-run partnership between opener Chris Dittmer (52) and Patrick Howes (50), who was dropped before he had scored, set the platform for a decent total.

After they and Brendan Hodgson were dismissed, James Graham (31) and BJ Barnett (44 from 34) combined in a decisive 70-run partnership, pushing Nelson’s score past 200, which would prove well out of reach for Marlborough.

Rep newcomer Cameron Collins stood out with the ball for the visitors, claiming 4-32 from eight overs of medium pace, while the ever-reliable Nick Weaver bagged 3-55 from nine. Matt McCormick, recalled to the rep team after 18 months abroad, chipped in with 2-25 from nine.

In reply, Marlborough lost wickets regularly, including key batsmen Prabodha Arthavidu and Matthew Stretch for low scores. Opener Tom Sutherland showed grit to hold the top end of the innings together, amassing 53 from 98 balls but, apart from Akhil Pant with 27 from 37, none of his team mates were able to hang around.

All six Nelson bowlers picked up wickets, Barnett with 3-24 from seven reaping the best reward. Josh Newport, 2-18 from seven, was both effective and miserly, as was Howes with 1-20 from seven.

MBC batsman Joel Lavender on his way to a superb unbeaten 98 on Tuesday. Photo: Peter Jones.

Cricket spoils shared

The Marlborough Boys’ College and Nelson College First XI cricket teams shared the spoils during a double-header played at Horton Park on Monday and Tuesday last week.

On Monday, Nelson College won a 50-over clash by 97 runs then, the next day, Marlborough Boys’ College took the honours by 33 runs in a 40-over encounter.

Nelson batted first in the first match, racking up a formidable target of 224 before being dismissed in the 48th over. Leading the way was Finn Raxworthy with 81, supported by 33 from Ronan Restieuax and a hard-hit 32 from Patrick Wilson. For MBC, Joel Pannell, Ben Holdaway and Kohri Brown each claimed a brace of wickets.

The home side’s reply was poor, being dismissed for 127 in the 33rd over. Opener Cooper Roberts with 42 from 61 balls was the mainstay of their batting, along with 31 from No 7 Tom Leonard.

Pace bowler Restieuax claimed 5-21 to be the pick of a steady, demanding Nelson attack, while spinner Salon Niraula picked up 3-18.

A determined MBC side returned a day later and turned the tables.

This time they batted first and put together a demanding total, based around a superb unbeaten 98 to Joel Lavender. Tim Petrie chipped in with 24 and Ben Ivory-McCullum with 27 but Lavender was in a dominating mood and unfortunate to miss out on what would have been a notable century.

The visitors were unable to match his heroics, stuttering their way to 140 before being dismissed in the 37th over. Spinner Dodson claimed 3-22, Petrie 2-21 and Pannell 2-13 to do most of the damage with the ball. Flynn Day and Wilson equal top-scored for Nelson with 25.

Falcons’ batsman Tim Petrie drives through the off side. Photo: Peter Jones

Falcons fly highest

The Falcons are the Marlborough one day cricket champions after accounting for their Tasman Premier League rivals, the Dolphins, in a low-scoring encounter on Saturday.

After sharing the honours in their two previous encounters this season the two Marlborough Labour Hire-sponsored sides met at Horton Park with the Grove Tavern Trophy on the line.

The Dolphins won the toss and asked their rivals to bat, making early inroads. After struggling initially at 22-4 the Falcons put together a series of small partnerships as they worked their way towards a modest total of 140 before losing their final wicket in the 36th over. Nick Weaver scored 17, Harrison Boyce hit out lustily for 28 from just 20 balls, then Max Armstrong scored a valuable 15 before Bradley Horton (24 not out) and Joel Pannell (10 from 25) batted positively in an invaluable 37-run partnership for the 10th wicket.

Matt McCormick was the pick of the Dolphins’ attack, bagging 4-22 from 10 overs of accurate medium pace, including dismissing four of the top six batsmen. Akhil Bhardwaj, Prabodha Arthavidu, Jack Walden and Mike Anstis also claimed wickets, with Bhardwaj being particularly economical.

The Dolphins’ run chase was immediately under pressure as Falcons’ opening bowlers Nick Weaver and Matthew Stretch ripped through the top order. Left arm paceman Weaver, who finished with 3-24 from 10, including the key wicket of Arthavidu, and spinner Stretch, 3-22 from 10, combined to restrict their rivals to 6-36, from where they never recovered.

McCormick, batting seven, threatened to take the game away from the Falcons with a hard-hit 27 from 33 balls, but was dismissed by spinner Tim Petrie with the score at 72-8. A patient 18 from 66 balls from Nick Wilder kept Dolphins in the hunt but his demise, dismissed by off spinner Alex Kennedy in the 38th over, signalled the end of the match.

Gillette Cup

Earlier in the week the Marlborough Boys’ College First XI lost a low-scoring encounter to their Nelson College counterparts.

The match was played at Saxton Oval with the top qualifying position for the Gillette Cup at stake.

MBC made a strong start batting first, reaching 59 without loss after the first 17 overs, but the next 17 were a disaster, losing seven wickets for the addition of just 30 runs. MBC limped through to 113 beforea bold bowling and fielding effort saw them get back in the game.

They had the home side reeling at 78-8 but were unable to seal the deal, the Nelson tail getting the job done.

Hawke Cup

The Hawke Cup is headed for the South Island after Canterbury Country, who beat Marlborough in the zone three qualifying final two weeks ago, got the better of holders Hamilton at the weekend.

Country’s victory was set up by a superb bowling effort on day one, Henry Shipley with 6-27 leading the way as the holders were dismissed for 98. Country replied with 240, Shanan Stewart’s 113 setting the tone. Batting second Hamilton were dismissed for 243 as they chased an outright, then Country knocked off the 103 runs required for an outright victory for the loss of five wickets.

If Country manage to retain the cup against Southland next weekend, they will play in the zone three group next year but will leave either Marlborough, Nelson or Buller to battle for the right to challenge.

Canterbury Country batsman Harry Chamberlain goes onto the attack. Photo: Peter Jones.

Third time unlucky for cricket reps

It was “third time unlucky” for Marlborough’s senior rep cricketers who were beaten outright by Canterbury Country in the Hawke Cup zone three qualifier at Horton Park on Sunday.

For the third successive season Marlborough were unable to claim the right to challenge for the prestigious trophy, symbol of minor association supremacy.

Two seasons ago Marlborough travelled to Rangiora and weather stymied their chance to force a first innings result against Country while, while last season they were well beaten by Nelson at home on Horton Park.

This time around a poor first session put the home side under all sorts of pressure and, although they battled hard to get themselves back in the three-day game and came close at times, they were on the back foot throughout.

Things began badly on Friday morning when, after being asked to bat, a batting collapse saw the home side in trouble immediately.

Opening bowler Jed Roberts was the main benefactor as Marlborough slumped to 35-4, then 53-6. Of the top seven batsmen only opener Tom Sutherland, 13, Akhil Pant, 15, and skipper Ma’ara Ave with 10 managed double figures.

The home side’s revival was sparked by hard-hitting allrounder Harry MacDonald. The No 8 batsman entered the fray at 110-7 in the 38th over and immediately took the attack to the Country bowlers. He slammed six fours and the same number of sixes as he raced to 84 from just 54 balls, featuring in a 44-run partnership with Chris Turkington, who scored 17. An unbeaten 20 from Nick Weaver allowed Marlborough to post a disappointing score of 186 before they were dismissed in the 59th over.

Roberts took the bowling honours, claiming 5-63 from 15 overs while Harry Chamberlain bagged two wickets for 27 from 10.

In reply, Canterbury Country began steadily, openers Joe Williams and Rupert Young taking the score through to 26 before Williams was dismissed by Turkington. When Young followed just six runs later, caught behind off the in-form Weaver, the home side sniffed a chance to redress the game’s balance.

However, a gritty 74-run partnership between Chamberlain and Ben Hartland saw the visitors move steadily past the 100-run mark, well in control of proceedings.

But there was twist in the tale. Late in the day Marlborough skipper Ave threw the ball to part-time spinner Prabodha Arthavidu and the Sri Lankan picked up two wickets in his first over, enticing catches from Chamberlain and night watchman Smith to lift Marlborough’s hopes.

At the scheduled close on day one Country had scored 108-4, trailing by 78 runs with six wickets intact.

An early wicket to Weaver on Saturday morning gave the home side the start they wanted but some resolute batting by Country soon dulled their enthusiasm.

The pairing of Shanan Stewart and Tim Gruijters batted sensibly, pouncing on any loose deliveries to accumulate a 95-run partnership and ensure the first innings edge was achieved.

When Gruijters fell for 41 at 205-6, Will Hamilton entered the fray and shared in a 30-run partnership with Stewart, then a 61-run combination with Sam Chamberlain. Hamilton ended on an unbeaten 70 from 109 balls, topping the scoring from Stewart who scored 64 from 111 as Country registered 317.

Leading the way with the ball for Marlborough was Arthavidu, the part- time spinner claiming 4-40 from 10 overs, while Weaver, Sam Boyce and Turkington all grabbed a brace.

Trailing by 131 Marlborough needed to wipe off the deficit quickly then try to score quick runs on Sunday with the intention of forging a decent lead, declaring then bowling Country out to claim an outright. They began in promising fashion, reaching 113-2 off 32 overs before stumps were drawn on Saturday with Arthavidu, on 43, and Akhil Pant, 21, after opener Tom Sutherland had scored 41 from 72 balls.

However their work was undone quickly on Sunday morning, Arthavidu perishing with the addition of only one run, his demise followed by a steady progression of players to and from the pavilion. Again, MacDonald showed aggression, his 37 from 20 balls and 21 from Weaver pushing Marlborough 221 when they were dismissed in the 58th over. Best of the Country attack was Gruijters with 3-34.

A lead of 90 was never going to be enough to force an outright against an accomplished batting line-up and so it proved, Country moving through to 91 in the 23rd over, despite losing five wickets along the way with Rupert Young, 46 from 43, their top scorer. The highly-impressive Weaver, who claimed his 100th wicket for Marlborough in this innings grabbed 3-32, while Athavidu picked up 2-30, earning him six wickets for the match.

Marlborough coach Jarrod Englefield said his side hoped to get “a minimum of 150 to 200 runs ahead” before Country batted a second time, but it wasn’t to be.

“The pitch was starting to wear and turn with variable bounce so we may have been in with a [outright] chance. We did well to get to where we did the night before but this morning we didn’t front up with the bat so they only had to chase 90.

“Our top six batting basically let us down, in both innings. We were always chasing our tail from that first innings with the bat, and there was nothing wrong with the pitch … Harry MacDonald gave us a good chance, then on the second morning we bowled our guts out and set up an opportunity to bowl them out for under 185 but their experience got them through … the game just got away from us.

“There were moments there when we could have controlled it but unfortunately we didn’t.”

Marlborough missed the experience of former skippers Matt Stretch and Jerrym Lamb, who were absent with personal commitments, but Englefield was loath to use that as an excuse.

“The players that we had were more than capable of forcing a result.”

Despite the result, Englefield hailed another strong Hawke Cup campaign, where his side beat both Nelson and Buller outright then Country on the first innings.

“[The loss is] frustrating but we can take a lot out of it … going into this game we were probably in the best position we have been in to get the challenge, but that one bad session really hurt us.”

Marlborough’s final outing is a Newman Shield challenge against Nelson on March 8.

Celtic skipper Jerrym Lamb. File photo.

Celtic claim T20 crown

After three seasons of heartbreak, Celtic has reclaimed the Marlborough T20 crown.

There were plenty of nervy moments for skipper Jerrym Lamb as his side scrapped home for a seven-run victory against Renwick on Friday night.

“The last few years we have been in each of those finals haven’t managed to win it, so it was good to get across the line.”

Josh Poole carried the innings for Celtic with a blistering half-century before claiming three crucial wickets.

After winning the toss and electing to bat, Celtic compiled a handy total thanks in large part to its opening pair.

“The idea was to get runs on the board and then use that scoreboard pressure.”

Josh plundered seven boundaries and a six in his 43-ball 62 as he and opener Tom Turner put on 82 for the first wicket.

The innings somewhat stalled after Josh was dismissed but Celtic saw out its final overs with Jerrym contributing a brisk 17.

Jerrym says his side was quietly confident as they set about defending 146.

“Throughout the season we have had low scoring games, we felt we should have put few more on the board but knew we had a good crack.”

After early strikes, Renwick captain Prabodha Arthavidu and Akhil Pant came together.

The pair put on 50 and looked to have the match in control before Josh clean bowled Prabodha and one over later claimed Akhil’s wicket.

“It toed and froed a bit, but Josh picked up a couple of crucial wickets that really turned the tables on Renwick.”

After the stunting their run rate, Renwick were left needing 17 off the final six.

With Renwick scoring five off the first three deliveries followed by five byes, they were in with every chance of stealing an unlikely win.

However, Gandharv Sharma held his nerve to concede just one run from his final two balls as Celtic claimed a thrilling victory.

“It was pretty satisfying, we had real belief in the bowling effort and everyone carried out their role in the field.”

Jerrym says it had been a particularly close competition with all sides managing at least one win.

“It was good to see plenty of people on the park playing cricket.”

The Marlborough players clap medium-pacer Sam Boyce from the field after his five-wicket haul at Horton Park on Saturday. Photo: Peter Jones.

Cricket reps book hometown final

It’s home sweet home for the Marlborough senior men’s rep cricketers after they completed a comfortable first innings win over Canterbury Country at the weekend.

On Saturday, they earned the right to host the forthcoming Hawke Cup zone three cricket final when they bettered nearest challenger Canterbury Country on the first innings, then on Sunday the match was called off early with little chance of an outright result and Country unable catch the hosts even if they did get one.

After being inserted at Horton Park the visitors, who trailed Marlborough by seven points on the overall standings going into the weekend’s final round robin match, were undone by a steady diet of controlled pace bowling.

They were dismissed for a meagre 139 in the 44th over, a total Marlborough passed for the loss of just five wickets, effectively booking hosting rights for the three-day zone challenge decider on February 14-16.

Hero with the ball for Marlborough was seamer Sam Boyce who claimed 5-34 from nine overs. The experienced medium pacer troubled all the opposition batsmen, bowling two of his victims and having three caught behind by keeper Ma’ara Ave. Nick Weaver continued his recent wicket-taking form, grabbing 2-48 from 13. Harry MacDonald bowled economically, conceding just 20 runs from his 10 overs, as did Chris Turkington, 1-8 from five, and Jerrym Lamb, 1-22 from seven.

Canterbury Country opener Rupert Young provided the most resistance for the southerners, putting together a patient 49 from 73 balls, but his team mates struggled to provide support. No 8 batsman Angus Sidey, with 22 from 38, helped out near the end but their final tally was never going to be enough if Marlborough, even without key batsman Prabodha Arthavidu who is unavailable this week, batted well.

And that they did. There were initial hiccups with Joel Lavender, Ave and skipper Matthew Stretch all back in the pavilion before tea with only 33 on the board. Opener Tom Sutherland, who contributed a dogged 33 from 72 balls departed soon after the break, bringing veterans Andrew McCaa and Jerrym Lamb together.

Despite Country ringing the bowling changes in an attempt to make further inroads the pair combined for a game-changing partnership of 79 before McCaa fell for a defiant 38 from 69. Lamb was joined by MacDonald who quickly took the attack to Country, a six over long on pushing the home side’s tally past their rivals and confirming final hosting rights.

MacDonald’s quick-fire innings of 19 ended with the score at 152, then Lamb was dismissed for a superb 56 from 113 balls just 15 runs later. The former captain’s composure under pressure and willingness to play each ball on its merits were pivotal on a day when batting application was not always top priority.

However the some side were not done, showing off their batting depth as the visitors wilted in the late evening sunshine. Akhil Pant, on his debut, was unbeaten on 24 at the close while Cooper Roberts scored a composed 19 from 30 balls as Marlborough ended a satisfying day at 217-8 from 66 overs, an overall lead of 78 runs heading into the final day.

On a sweltering Sunday morning, Marlborough continued to frustrate the visiting attack, Pant moving through to a well-organised 47 from 85 balls, and featuring in a 50-run partnership with Chris Turkington who finished unbeaten on 23 as Marlborough’s first innings ended on 261, a lead of 122.

Best of the Country bowlers, who were accurate and economical although not constantly threatening, was medium pacer Will Smith, a late call-up for Canterbury player Fraser Sheat, who bagged 4-50 from 16 overs. Sam Chamberlain picked up 2-36 while opening paceman Jed Roberts grabbed 2-34.

Batting a second time, Country looked more solid, moving through to 81-1, Jeremy Benton 42 not out, before time was called by captain’s agreement at the scheduled lunch break.

Marlborough head coach Jarrod Englefield said his side “got heaps” out of the game.

“It was a very pleasing result. We had to approach this game differently to the last one … the way the points were structured we had to make sure we didn’t lose outright so we could gain a home final … we decided to give ourselves the best chance of doing that by bowling first.

“To bowl like we did showed a lot of character … we put the ball in the right areas … any time you can bowl Canterbury Country out for 139 is a great effort.

“When we batted we were under pressure at the top but we established partnerships, batted deep and long. To get 250 showed we are batting well at the moment – it just gives us a lot of confidence moving into the final.”

Englefield was delighted by Boyce’s effort. “It was his second five-wicket bag for Marlborough – he set it up for us by getting out the key batsmen. He was outstanding and well supported by Harry MacDonald, Chris Turkington and Nick Weaver.

“With the bat we had Jerrym and Andrew who showed their experience, knuckled down in a tight spot and gave us a really good chance of getting the first innings result. Akhil Pant also batted well … there were plenty of highlights.”

The victorious Renwick side. Back, from left, Jacob Zillwood, Griffin Carter, Andrew Marshall, Rikki Bovey, Michael Anstis, Max Brydon. Front, Sam Clothier-Solly, Hayden Gaudin, Mark Zillwood, Kirk Nicholas (c), Ed Gilhooly and Ritz Suthar. Photo: Supplied.

Renwick second grade side bag trophy

Renwick’s second grade cricketers took out the second grade Twenty20 title at Horton Park on Thursday.

The top qualifiers for the decider won a high-scoring encounter over Celtic Green, prevailing by just four runs.

Both sides batted well. Renwick were first at the crease and an unbeaten 77 from 62 balls from former rep opener Rikki Bovey set the foundation for their very competitive score of 152-4.

Their innings was battling at 9-2 and then 56-3 before Andrew Marshall joined Bovey, the pair putting together a match-winning third wicket 96-run partnership. Marshall finished with 31 from just 13 balls.

Celtic put together a series of handy partnerships during their unsuccessful run chase. Joel Logan scored 22 from 15, fellow opener Ollie Lawson hit 37 from 39 and Jared Bullen 31 not out from 28 to lead the scoring. Needing 10 from the final over for victory Celtic were only able to muster five from Jacob Zillwood’s bowling.  Both Zillwood and Rijvanahmed Suthar bagged three wickets from their four over allocation.

Senior grade

Although the final combatants have been decided, there was plenty of interest in the penultimate round of senior Twenty20 cricket on Wednesday evening.

Celtic, who are locked into a final berth alongside Renwick, beat Marlborough Boys’ College by 41 runs, while Wairau showed signs of a late resurgence with a six-wicket win over Renwick.

Celtic batted first against MBC, their total of 114 continuing the trend of low post-Xmas scores. Former rep player Matt McCormick made a welcome return for the Green and Golds, top-scoring with 29 from 25 balls batting seven. No 9 Tom Turner scored a late 21 to bolster an innings that teetered at 56-6 in the 12th over.

Cameron Collins bagged 2-8 from three overs for the students, Tim Petrie grabbing 2-13 from four overs of spin.

College made a steady start, Petrie and Ben Ivory-McCullum getting them through to 21 before Ivory-McCullum departed. Petrie anchored the innings with a patient 20 from 41 balls, but could not find anyone to stay with him in the middle as Celtic picked up wickets steadily, eventually dismissing the students for 73 in the final over. Josh Poole was the main destroyer with 4-10 from his four overs, while James Croker grabbed 2-6 and veteran medium pacer Greg Hegglun 2-10.

Meanwhile, a top allround performance from Harry MacDonald saw Wairau to a comfortable victory over Renwick. The rep player bagged 4-35 as the Green Machine were restricted to 141-7 from their 20 overs, then blasted 69 from 34 balls to get Wairau home in the 16th over, with just four wickets down.

Joseph Timms scored a quickfire 30 from 13 balls to top the Renwick batting display, while all of the top eight reached double figures to post a competitive score.

Wairau’s reply was based around a superb 98-run third wicket partnership between MacDonald and Tom Rawcliffe, who posted an unbeaten 39 from 38 balls. Cory Golding and Akhil Pant both bagged a brace of wickets for Renwick.

The final round robin games will be played on Wednesday with the final planned for Friday, February 7.

Standings: Celtic 22, Renwick 22 (played all their games), Wairau 14, Wairau Valley 10, MBC 4.

Prabodha Arthavidu and Matthew Stretch were the leading contributors during Marlborough’s first innings. Photo: Shuttersport.

Rep cricketers book place in zone final

A revised game plan, built around an inspired team effort, saw Marlborough’s rep cricketers book a place in the Hawke Cup zone three qualifying final on Sunday.

They were too good for Nelson over two days on a testing Ngawatu pitch, claiming an outright victory by 175 runs.

Batting first, Marlborough reached a handy total of 250 from 71 overs, then ripped through the youthful Nelson batting line-up, bowling them out for 107 in 35.3 overs to claim vital first innings points.

Marlborough decided not to enforce the follow-on, not wanting to bat fourth, and were 15-1 at stumps on Saturday.

On Sunday they battled to a respectable 162-8 before declaring with 60 overs remaining, meaning Nelson needed to score at more than five an over from the outset. In the end they never threatened, another top bowling and fielding effort seeing the home side dismissed for 130 in the 37th over.

Marlborough coach Jarrod Englefield said that although his side had lost the toss and were inserted, they would have batted anyway.

“It was a good couple of days … we had a strategy to play things a bit different. The last couple of times we have played against them they have outplayed us, so we decided on a different approach.

“We wanted to play a faster style of two-day cricket. Try to get some momentum, get some runs and build the run-rate up … we got some good partnerships going, ran well between wickets, got a pretty good total, then the boys bowled well and set the game up on Saturday.

“The guys knuckled down in the second innings, Matthew Stretch batted well as did young Cooper Roberts on debut and Chris Turkington. In the end we were able to declare at a total we felt pretty comfortable with. Their batsmen had to go at it pretty hard and then we built pressure and with Nick Weaver bowling well again we got the job done.

“It was Nick’s third five-wicket bag for Marlborough, he’s so much fitter this year which is a credit to him. It was a big effort in hot conditions. Matthew Stretch also had an outstanding game, 40 in the first innings, 60 in the second, plus three slip catches and a wicket.

“But all the lads did well … there were contributions from everyone.”

Sunday’s result means Marlborough top the zone three table with 20 points, Canterbury Country have 13 and Nelson 10. The only game still to be played is at Horton Park next weekend, when Marlborough meet Country to effectively decide where the zonal final (on February 14-16) will be staged.

On day one the visiting side’s medium pacers did the job, Tarin Mason and Weaver removing the dangerous Zohrab twins, who opened the Nelson innings, plus top order batsmen Paddy Howes and Finn Restieaux with just 40 runs on the board.

From there wickets fell regularly, Jerrym Lamb and Chris Turkington cleaning up proceedings with three scalps apiece. Mason finished with 2-14 from six, Weaver 2-21 from eight, Lamb 3-18 from seven and Turkington 3-12 from four.

Marlborough’s batting was very much a team effort, five players passing 20 but only Prabodha Arthavidu (56 from 109 balls) going on to a half century. Stretch contributed 41 from 81, Lamb 39 from 71 and Harry MacDonald a hard-hit 32 from just 27 deliveries.

A 76-run second wicket partnership between Ave and Arthavidu and 61 for the sixth wicket between Lamb and MacDonald were the best combined efforts.

Despite the loss of Ave before stumps on Saturday, Marlborough continued to bat positively, Stretch’s 66 from 84 balls anchoring the innings as they kept the scoreboard ticking over through small partnerships.

The 37-run partnership for the eighth wicket between Stretch and Roberts (19 not out) was the best of the innings.

Nelson’s run chase never really got off the ground as wickets fell continually.  Nelson had no choice other than have a crack, but the visiting bowlers were not to be denied.

Weaver’s 5-39 from 11.5 overs was the outstanding performance, while all his fellow bowlers performed with control and energy, MacDonald, Boyce, Stretch, Turkington and Lamb picking up a wicket apiece.

Englefield said that as the wicket was hard to bat on they were intent on scoring, rather than batting to occupy the crease.

“We were trying to take the game away from them. We were prepared to play four innings, got momentum and from there just controlled the game.

“We also bowled a lot straighter than them, getting lbws, bowled and caught behinds. The boys just played bloody good cricket.”

Scores:

Marlborough 250 (Prabodha Arthavidu 56, Matthew Stretch 41, Jerrym Lamb 39, Harry MacDonald 32, Ma’are Ave 30, Felix Murray 4/79, Max Mannering 2/3, Thomas Zohrab 2/53) Nelson 107 (Thomas Zohrab 26, Nic Clark 21, Chris Turkington 3/12, Jerrym Lamb 3/18, Tarin Mason 2/14) Marlborough          162/8 dec (Stretch 66, Thomas Zohrab 2/29, Josh Newport 2/36, Jarrod McKay 2/38) Nelson 130 (Paddy Howes 39, Nic Clark 30, Nick Weaver 5/39).

Marlborough won by 175 runs

The victorious Wairau side. Photo: Supplied.

Wairau take out second grade cricket crown

Wairau are the Marlborough second grade champions after claiming the 2019-20 second grade 40-over title on Saturday.

They downed Celtic Green by 58 runs at Horton Park, turning in a convincing performance with both bat and ball.

Batting first Wairau reached 184-9 from their 40 overs, a testing target on a pitch that kept low at times.

Celtic Green struggled to get some batting momentum in reply, being dismissed for 126 in the 33rd over.

Leading the way for Wairau was Cameron Collins who produced a top all-round effort. He anchored the Wairau innings, scoring a patient 69 from 106 balls, with help from Aiden Lavender (24), Max Armstrong (26) and Alex Kennedy with a late 20. Logan Robinson (2-28) and Tom Turner (2-23) were the most successful of the Celtic bowlers, who were backed up by an energetic fielding display.

However, the batting effort was not so positive, Hunter Ruffell (2-16) and Matt Deaker (2-18) knocking the top off their innings, leaving them precariously poised at 43-4. Brad Pope with 21 and Turner with an unbeaten 26 did their best, but Collins bagged three wickets and Kennedy two to ensure there would be no late heroics.

 

Twenty20

Meanwhile, on Wednesday evening round eight of the SBS senior Twenty20 competition was contested.

Renwick consolidated their position at the top of the standings with two rounds remaining, tipping over Wairau Valley by six wickets. In the other match Celtic all but booked a place in the February 2 final by beating Wairau, also by six wickets.

Again scores were low, with bowlers taking charge, Valley only managing 98 batting first while Wairau could only muster 103. Tom Rawcliffe (24) and Chris Turkington (20) were the best of the Wairau batsmen, Ben Blackman and Jaden Adams bagging three wickets apiece.

In reply Celtic opener Josh Poole took control, the former rep allrounder scoring 69 from just 49 balls to ensure the match was over in the 15th over. Turkington’s 3-26 was comfortably the best of the Wairau bowling.

On the adjoining pitch, Valley opener Tim Abrahams with 27 from 30 balls, plus tail-enders Paul Hickman (12) and Michael Dillon (17) were the only batsmen to reach double figures.

Akhil Pant continued his recent golden run, snaring 3-28, while Rikki Bovey and Ed Gilhooly picked up a brace apiece.

Pant led the reply, scoring a rapid 31, while Joe Timms sealed the deal with 29 from just 11 balls at the end. Matt Stretch and Simon Muir snared a couple of wickets each.

The penultimate round is on Wednesday, January 29.