Westech Automotive Maungakaramea's latest import has helped his side to a two-wicket, round one win over Motel Sierra Kamo on Saturday.
Mark Andrianatos, a right-hand bat/right-arm medium fast bowler from South Africa, picked up three wickets and made an unbeaten 41 runs to ensure Maungakaramea's premier cricket team won in the first round of the Lion Red Cup at the Maungakaramea Domain.
Read more: Your guide to Northland premier cricket
With the home side winning the toss and electing to bowl on an artificial wicket, Kamo looked good early on and found themselves 130 for 3 after 26 overs, ready to cash in during the remaining 14 overs.
However, the side's next six wickets fell for just 28 runs as Kamo capitulated to 158 for 9 with 3.2 overs remaining. Kamo captain Ben Hyde top-scored with 46 but it was Andrianatos and Mark Southee who did the damage for the home side, picking up six wickets between them.
Needing just under four runs per over to chase the total, Maungakaramea started in fine fashion after losing Page brothers, Ian and Chris, early. Opener Tom Lovegrove and Andrianatos top-scored with 36 and 41 respectively.
Kamo soon put the screws on the hosts through tight bowling from Hyde, David Armitt and Richie Macpherson, all of whom picked up two wickets. The game came down to the final over but Maungakaramea captain Neal Parlane kept a cool head to hit a vital boundary before number 10 batsman Jack Cranage hit the winning runs of the third-to-last ball.
"It was a bit tighter than it should have been, but a good way to start the season," Parlane said.
"It would have been pleasing to have a complete performance but it's four points in the bank with plenty of stuff to work on so can't complain."
In the other fixture of the round, Kaipara Flats earned a 31-run win over Kensington Tavern Onerahi Central at the Bourne Dean Domain on Saturday. Kaipara's Byron Jollivet scored an unbeaten 67 to take his side to 155 for 6 before getting a wicket of his own to help bowl Onerahi out for 124.
Note: the first five games of the Lion Red Cup are 40 overs with the last five changing to 50 overs.