You know the Central Districts Stags are having a ball when their bowlers can have a dig at their batsmen after a game.
"We like to think the bowlers win most of our games," said Blair Tickner last night after the William Young-captained Stags overwhelmed last-placed Otago Volts by six wickets at Queen's Park, Invercargill, in round six of the one-day Ford Trophy competition.
The tongue-in-cheek response from Tickner was to Ford Trophy-contracted bowling coach and former international Jacob Oram's assertion a fortnight ago that it was difficult to separate the batting and bowling departments of the Heinrich Malan-coached domestic men's side because there was an even spread of talent and strength across the board.
However, on a serious note, the Burger King Super Smash Twenty20 highest wicket taker was alluding to reducing the total to a dawdle in the park after Volts' won the toss and elected to bat.
The Ruahine Motors Central Hawke's Bay CC premier men's club cricketer continued his summer of plenty with 4-43 from 10 overs, including a maiden, as the visitors skittled the hosts for 167 runs in 43.1 overs.
Only former Black Caps batsman James Neesham, batting at six, offered any resistance as batsmen came and went, although No11 Michael Rae carved up three boundaries and a six to remain unbeaten on 21.
A modest Tickner said he was faithful to his T20 rituals but felt the wicket did a little earlier on after it was under the covers for two days and the table-topping CD camp was leaning towards bowling first before the toss.
"The cross seam seemed to work in my last few overs so I'm happy to get the wickets for the boys," said the 24-year-old who is the second highest one-day wicket taker with Auckland Aces tweaker Tarun Nethula on 12, one below Brent Arnel, of the Wellington Firebirds.
"It [the wicket] did more up and down than sideways at times."
Black Cap George Worker claimed 3-13 from 2.1 overs but every bowler was there to do brisk business. Bevan Small (1-39) and Christian Leopard (1-14) got scalps but a wicket-less Adam Milne and spinner Ajaz Patel were the most frugal.
"George is always throwing up pies and getting us some wickets so that's good but we don't want him taking too many wickets now," Tickner said, the humour taking over again.
"I don't think Jazz [Patel] is too happy seeing these - oh, I don't know what you'd call them."
In reply, CD eclipsed the total with 169/4 with 26 overs to spare with opener Worker top-scoring with 55 runs, including eight fours and two sixes while No3 Jesse Ryder hit an unbeaten 48 runs from 36 balls, including eight boundaries and a six.
"It was good to chase down a small total quickly," Tickner said, adding CD were in a happy place with just half a dozen losses in all three formats.
"If it keeps going like this I'm sure we can win trophies," he said, before playing the Firebirds at the Basin Reserve on Wednesday.
Finishing in the top two for another life in the playoffs is the goal.
Tickner, who deserves a tap on his shoulder from New Zealand coach Mike Hesson, said he hadn't heard from anyone yet and his collective energy was in the Stags' cellular battery.