The newly-revamped Tasman premier one-day cricket competition got underway on Saturday, with defending champions Stoke/Nayland declaring itself a serious contender to win back-to-back titles.
The Tasman-wide competition has been expanded to two full rounds of one-day play, culminating in semi-finals and a final scheduled for March 30, 2019.
With the withdrawal from senior cricket of Wanderers, just seven sides will do battle for the Kelvin Scoble Trophy this season – the Falcons and Dolphins from Marlborough, plus Wakatu, ACOB, Stoke Nayland, Nelson College and WTTU from Nelson.
After a clean sweep across all formats in last year’s premier cricket season, Stoke/Nayland made a dominant start to its 2018-19 campaign, crushing rivals Waimea Toi Toi by seven wickets at Marsden Recreation Ground.
Sent in on a green pitch, just one batsman, Joseph O’Connor with 17, could manage double figures for Waimea as the visitors were skittled for just 61 in 24.4 overs.
Stoke/Nayland made light work of the small total, cruising to the target in 10.5 overs, Chris Dittimer finishing unbeaten on 22.
Chief destroyer for Nayland was Dylan Eginton, taking 5/14 off his seven overs while well supported by last season’s leading wicket taker Ili Tuaga who claimed figures of 3/18 off his five.
Coach Aaron Mallinson says it was a crucial toss to win. “It was pretty green, but we prepared really well, bowled good lengths one side of the wicket and the rest of it took care of itself.”
At a glance:
Waimea Toi Toi: 61 all out (24.4 overs) Joseph O’Connor 17, Kurt Thompson 9*. Dylan Eginton 5/14, Ili Tuaga 3/18.
Stoke/Nayland: 63/3 (10.5 overs) Chris Dittimer 22*, Peter Howes 13. Josh Newport 2/34.
In other results, Athletic College Old Boys were bowled out by the Marlborough Falcons for 124, Greg Chitty top scoring with 41.
In reply, the Falcons chased the total down in 38.2 overs for the loss of seven wickets, Thomas Zhorab and Sunny Dhaliwal taking two wickets apiece.
Also over the hill, Wakatu was embarrassed by the Falcons, losing by nine wickets.
Batting first, Wakatu posted a dismal 42 after only 28 overs, led by 18 bowling extras, Campbell McLean top scoring with seven.
The Dolphins cruised to 43/1 after 11 overs.