Stand-in Ginninderra skipper Josh Watling has backed his teammate's decision to refuse to bat in smoky conditions despite the Tigers' desperate bid to keep their Douglas Cup defence alive.
Jay Blamey was unbeaten overnight on four but retired before play on day two following the return of the smoke haze which saw all other games abandoned in the two-day competition on Sunday.
But ANU were able to stay on the park long enough to secure a comprehensive first innings win over Ginninderra at Kippax Oval.
The hosts folded for 71 in the face of an Angus Jones (5-18) onslaught, before being asked to follow on as the Owls launched a desperate bid for an outright victory.
ANU, who posted 210 on Saturday, squeezed in 22 overs with Ginninderra's second innings drawing to a close at 2-56.
Whether a game goes ahead in the smoke haze is at the discretion of match officials once the match has commenced, as it had in this instance.
Umpires Terry Keel and Ashley Mooney deemed conditions safe enough for some play - and it was enough for ANU to tear through Ginninderra's batting order.
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But Blamey was not among the scalps having opted to sit the day out.
"He was batting [on Saturday] afternoon and went home and had a coughing episode for about half an hour, so he was reluctant to go out and bat," Watling said.
"That's totally his choice, he retired and said to me he didn't want to go back to out and bat. That's his decision, I can't force him to go out there and bat under those circumstances.
"We had a talk about it and we were keen to get out there and give it a crack. We need the points at this stage in the season so we wanted to get out there and fight to get the first innings.
"Unfortunately we didn't. We were hoping, if we weren't to get first innings points, there would hopefully be enough time left in the day to go out and try to get the second innings points.
"Unfortunately due to the smoke we lost time in the day and that took that equation out of the game. ANU sent us back in so we had to settle for a first innings loss and try not to lose outright."
Ginninderra were missing a handful of key pieces this week including captain Rhys Healy and Jak Willcox following the Australian country cricket championships in Toowoomba.
But Watling concedes that has almost become the norm for the Tigers in their bid to retain the two-day title.
"It's hard, our club has been thrown around this season and we haven't managed to be able to pick the same side for two weeks in a row," Watling said.
"It's hard to try to find a team to put out there week in, week out, and get a good couple of games together under our belts. It's difficult chopping and changing. It's been challenging."
Meanwhile, Tuggeranong Valley were denied the chance to run down Eastlake's total of 232 as the smoke haze rolled across Kingston Oval.
The visitors were left stranded at 1-10 but they will hold their place in the top four after a host of rivals suffered the same fate. Weston Creek Molonglo and North Canberra-Gungahlin didn't play at Keith Tournier Memorial Oval.
It was a similar story at Freebody Oval with Queanbeyan finishing on 0-11 in reply to Western District's imposing total of 309 spearheaded by a Blake Dean century.
AT A GLANCE
Cricket ACT Douglas Cup round 10: ANU 210 (L Pedley 42, D Leerdam 39; D Faram 2-3, M Bosustow 2-28) bt GINNINDERRA 71 (B Thomas 17; A Jones 5-18) and 2-56 (J Watling 23; W Todd 1-3) on first innings at Kippax Oval.
EASTLAKE 232 (P de Silva 107, T Henry 36; C Devoy 2-34, N Joseph 2-55) drew TUGGERANONG VALLEY 1-10 (C Devoy 10*; D Foy 1-1) at Kingston Oval.
WESTERN DISTRICT 309 (B Dean 132, B Macdonald 59; B Smith 6-75, V Dukoski 2-68) drew QUEANBEYAN 0-11 (B Singh Khillan 6*, T Kellar 5*) at Freebody Oval.
WESTON CREEK MOLONGLO 2-96 (J Low-McMahon 48*, S Kimber 23*; A Tarpey 2-15) lead NORTH CANBERRA-GUNGAHLIN 59 (L Whatmough 23, B Winkler 12; M Poonia 6-11, J Slater 3-19) on first innings at Keith Tournier Memorial Oval.