A half-century and five-wicket haul by Oxford-Rangiora all-rounder Lachie Stove, which guided his side to a 156-run demolition of Cheviot, was the standout performance in the latest round of country cricket at the weekend.
Stove’s stellar show secured Oxford-Rangiora a much-needed win in the CRV Ambreed Country Premier One Day 2020/21 competition on Saturday, which also saw top points for Weedons and Darfield.
The struggle for players continued for embattled Southbrook who were forced to default for the second week running – this time handing the points, and a weekend off, to arch-rivals Sefton.
At Pearson Park, the visiting Cheviot Magpies may have rued their decision to bowl first, with the home Oxford-Rangiora XI racking up 211/9 in their allotted 45 overs.
After aggressive opener Jake Waghorn got Oxford-Rangiora off to a flying start with a run-a-ball 39, it was Stove, batting at number 4, who did the most damage.
Stove, who joined Oxford-Rangiora this season from Weedons, took the attack to a depleted Cheviot side, smashing 66 off 80 balls, including three sixes.
With his tail up, Stove then took the new bowl to rip through the Cheviot top-order, taking a remarkable five-wicket bag in just four overs.
Mark Murphy’s wily off-spinners then mopped up the sorry Cheviot innings, which capitulated to be all out for 55 in just 18.5 overs.
At Lincoln Domain, the home team elected to bat first against Darfield, and would’ve been happy with their first innings total of 211/6.
Lincoln opener Hugh Paterson batted masterfully and deserved a century, falling agonisingly short on 97.
The Darfield chase, after losing Liam Foulkes cheaply, got off to a flying start with Nick Gilbert (23 runs off 21 balls) and Nick Jenkins (34 off 31).
Ryan Hughes, making an unbeaten 76, came in and kept the acceleration going, along with ‘keeper-batsman Alister Collins who was also not out on 32 when Darfield knocked off the five-wicket win with 12.4 overs to spare.
With competition leaders Leeston-Southbridge having the bye, second-placed Weedons kept up the pressure with a dominant 111-run victory over Ohoka.
At Weedons Domain, the home side racked up an imposing 274/7 in their first innings.
Set up by a quick-fire 65 by opening batsman Brad Nightingale, Weedons got handy contributions throughout the order – with 61 by Charlie Robson and an unbeaten 45 off 38 balls by Devon Nightingale.
In reply, Ohoka never really looked like challenging the big score, with too many batsmen guilty of getting out after making starts.
Like their batting effort, Weedons worked together as a unit to strangle Ohoka and eventually bowl them all out for 163 in the 37th over and secure the 111-run victory.
Oxford-Rangiora 211/9 (L Stove 66, J Waghorn 39, M Power 23no, L Waghorn 21; T Fitzpatrick 3/26, W Inch 2/22, C Burnett 2/35)
Beat Cheviot 55 (L Stove 5/16, M Murphy 3/12).
Lincoln 211/6 (H Paterson 97, R Sporke 28, C Powell 20).
Lost to Darfield 212/5 (R Hughes 76no, N Jenkins 34, A Collins 32no, N Gilbert 23; L Robinson 2/29).
Weedons 274/7 (B Nightingale 65, C Robson 61, D Nightingale 45no, T Inness 28, J Watson 20no; R Miller 2/26, J Belton 2/58)
Beat Ohoka 163 (R Miller 27, N Burnett 25, D Lyons 20; C Robson 3/16, D Nightingale 2/19, J Watson 2/20, H D’Arcy 2/41).
Southbrook defaulted to Sefton.