Victoria Park was laid out like a dinner table for pace bowlers and they were hungry in the fifth round of the Bullocks Coastal Challenge Cup on Saturday.
Matt Burke Engineering Marton Saracens nightmare with the bat in the 50-over format has continued unabated, as somehow they eclipsed their dismissal for 104 in the fourth round to be skittled for a humiliating 29 by St Johns Tech Old Boys, on the way to a nine wicket defeat on the Tasman Tanning No1 pitch.
There can be no downplaying six ducks and not one player reaching double figures, as the innings did not even see the end of the tenth over.
Tech bowlers Ross Kinnerley and Akash Gill started it and finished it with five wickets each, as Gill conceded only eight runs from his 29 deliveries.
Sam Sheriff, Scott Oliver, Josh Trillo, Dominic Rayner, and Trey Bidois are all representative-level players who were just cast aside by the rampant bowlers, with no-one even facing two overs worth of deliveries.
And there were unlikely to be many hidden gremlins in the pitch, as Tech's bowler and former lower order batsman Trent Hemi got to carry his bat through an entire innings for the first time, scoring 17 not out from 19 deliveries including three boundaries, as the farce was wrapped up by the sixth over.
The 15-year-old Canadian newcomer Akhil Kumar made his Whanganui 50-over club debut and hit two boundaries before being the sole Tech wicket to fall, as his team then had to make last-minute plans about how they would spend the rest of their Saturday afternoon.
Across on No2 pitch, Property Brokers United continued their unbeaten run with a 40 defeat of Marist, despite allrounder Nick Harding having his best ever Whanganui club figures with 7-37, as United were bowled out for 210.
However, even with a very rejigged lineup, Marist continue to struggle to put together a complete match, as two weeks ago they lost by five wickets despite scoring 281, and on Saturday they were dismissed for 170 in a match where they were always keeping up with the run rate but couldn't protect wickets.
Their Central District's batsman Ben Smith was in attendance, but injury prevented him from being anything other than a spectator.
United would have felt 20-30 runs short of being comfortable in their innings, as Harding got top batsman Greg Smith in the opening over and then eventually caught up with the in-form Tom Lance, who scored 33 with seven boundaries before losing his stumps.
After previously scoring a century against them, Collegiate's Matt Simes joined up with United after his First XI's game against Paraparaumu was abandoned, but Harding got through him and then Englishman Freddie Wilson to leave United scrambling at 49-4.
"Yeah, good length," said Harding about his top form.
"I got the right end [to bowl] and I got the bunnies at the end."
With Harding taken off, United still had to face up to the young representative bowlers Angus Dinwiddie (1-25) and Connor O'Leary (1-33), both also transferring over from Collegiate to play the match.
But the veterans held their nerve as Simon Badger (65) anchored the innings, well supported by Robbie Power (15), Martin Pennefather (20) and a solid 42 from Brendon Walker, as they scored where they could against the young Marist pacers, while taking 43 runs off Sam O'Leary's six overs.
However, Harding returned to clean up the tail with five balls left in the innings.
United still had their own well-balanced bowling attack, as the returning Ryan Slight (2-36) opened up with Badger (3-17), as Marist's top order of Zak O'Keeffe, Sam O'Leary and Zander Engelbrecht all got starts before being caught and dismissed leg before.
From 46-4, Craig Thorpe (32) and Mark Fraser (43) looked to steady the ship with a 56-run partnership, but Marist just couldn't get past Greg Smith in the field.
He caught Thorpe off bowler James Pennefather, while Harding entered and despite blasting a four and a six he put another one in Smith's hands off Badger at 119-6.
Looking to put the screws on, Lance (2-30) slowed the run rate with his spinners, as Raponi Tofa survived a simple drop catch by Ritesh Verma but was bowled soon after, while Chris Stewart was trapped in front.
It was all on Fraser's shoulders at 126-8 after 31 overs, but when Slight was reintroduced, Fraser tried to smash him through midwicket and Smith came across to leap full-extension and take a brilliant diving catch, which proved the deciding of the match.
Connor O'Leary (25) had previously come in and was scoring well at a run-a-ball, but he was caught in the following over to leave Marist well short in the 39th over.
A clerical error ultimately saw Collegiate's home game with Paraparaumu abandoned with both team's sharing the points.
The issue occurred weeks ago when Horowhenua-Kapiti Cricket arranged to move their second round Furlong Cup game with Hawke's Bay in Levin a weekend earlier.
However this led to confusion with the Coastal Challenge Cup draw secretary believing the whole club round had been changed.
Allegedly once the issue was discovered, the Paraparaumu players had already made other plans in advance to attend a wedding, and opted not to play the school side.
Sharing points leaves the defending champions outside the Top 4, behind Property Brokers United, Levin OB, Weraroa, St Johns Tech and Kapiti.
Marton 29 (A Gill 5-8, R Kinnerley 5-20) lost to Tech 31-1 (T Hemi 17no) by nine wickets.
United 210 (S Badger 65, B Walker 42, T Lance 33, M Pennefather 20; N Harding 7-37) bt Marist 170 (M Fraser 43, C Thorpe 32, C O'Leary 25; S Badger 3-17, T Lance 2-30, R Slight 2-36) by 40 runs.
Collegiate vs Paraparamu abandoned with shared points.