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From the underarm to Lord Hawke's gift

LOGAN SAVORY
Last updated 05:00 22/02/2014
Ryan Meyer
Fairfax NZ
GOLDEN KNOCK: Ryan Meyer on his way to scoring a double century against South Canterbury in Timaru last year.

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This weekend Southland Cricket celebrates 150 years of representative cricket in the province. Southland Times cricket writer Logan Savory looks at 20 key moments.

20. Tait's Double

In 1988 against North Otago Rodney Tait racked up 206 against North Otago and he and David Burnett put on more than 300 for the first wicket. Tait is one of just three Southland players to score a double century.

19. Thomson's Spell

Graeme Thomson is regarded as one of Southland's best bowlers and in 1974 he got the opportunity to travel with the New Zealand team to England but played little part because of a shoulder injury.

His standout performance for Southland came during the 1974/75 season when he took seven for 29 against South Canterbury in a 13-over spell.

18. Golden Youngster

As a teenager in a Hawke Cup defence against Manawatu, Jeff Wilson showcased his class and determination when he sent down a remarkable 52.1 overs to claim six for 88.

17. Cutler's Ton

Arthur Cutler's 50-plus years association with Southland cricket as both a player and umpire. His century against Otago in 1945 is regarded as the highlight of his playing days. In an 181-minute stay at the crease he struck three sixes and 15 fours in his knock of 134. Otago had made plans to play club cricket in the afternoon, thinking they would roll through the Southland team. But Cutler dug in to ruin that.

16. Surprise Call-Up

In August 1955 there was general surprise in New Zealand cricketing circles when the name JC Alabaster from Southland was read outfor the tour of Pakistan and India before he had even played a first-class game.

15. The Partnership

Australian import Ryan Meyer and captain Jason Domigan in January 2013 teamed up to put on 269 for the fourth wicket against South Canterbury in Timaru. Meyer went on to score 206 in a 275-ball innings while Domigan scored 127.

14. Under-arm

When Trevor Chappell delivered an under-arm delivery in a one-day-international against New Zealand at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, facing it at the other end was Southland cricketing royalty in the form of Brian McKechnie. McKechnie was a key figure in Southland cricket through the 1970s and 80s and, like Jeff Wilson, also played rugby for his country as well.

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13. Dawson's Debut

At 16 years old and on debut, Greg Dawson announced himself on the Southland cricket scene with a stunning century in February 2006. He scored 125 against Central Otago at Queens Park in Invercargill, facing 310 balls and showing maturity beyond his years.

12. Selection at 39

After being a fringe player for many years, Southland's Gren Alabaster was selected to tour Australia with the New Zealand team in 1974, at 39 years old.

11. The Leader

Southland captain Kevin Burns stood up when counted in February 1989 when he scored a century which was a major factor in Southland beating Northland to win the Hawke Cup and start a reign which would stretch three years and 15 defences.

10. Jumbo Innings

Robert ‘Jumbo' Anderson produced one of Southland cricket's best batting performances in 1977 in a Hawke Cup defence against Ashburton County when he posted 255 at Queens Park in Invercargill.

9. Overton's Selection

In 1953 Limehills Cricket Club player and Southland representative Guy Overton was selected in the New Zealand team to tour South Africa. The right-arm bowler took 26 wickets during the entire tour and got to play in three tests.

8. Hoskin's Hundred

Richard Hoskin offered a glimpse of his abilities as an 18-year-old playing against Marlborough when he racked up 150 in an innings that included five sixes and 16 fours.

He went on to be a key figure in Southland and Otago cricket success.

7. Visiting Aussies

During the 1950s, Southland had the pleasure of having the Australia cricket team visit twice. In 1950, Southland lost to Australia at Rugby Park and in 1957 Southland were well beaten at Queens Park.

6. Alabasters' 16

The magical spinning prowess of Gren and Jack Alabaster was to the fore in 1970 when the brothers claimed 16 of the 20 wickets to fall as they led Southland to a Hawke Cup win over Waikato at Seddon Park in Hamilton.

5. SCA Formed

Although cricket was played in Southland well before 1892, the Southland Cricket Association was established in that year. It is understood the first game played under Southland Cricket Association rules was a Town v Country match at the Invercargill Cricket Club grounds. In 1992 the SCA held centennial celebrations.

4. The First

Southland became the first holders of the Hawke Cup when the trophy was first contested on a tournament basis in 1911. Southland beat North Island champions Rangitikei in the final that year. The cup was donated to New Zealand cricket by Yorkshire and MCC captain Lord Hawke.

3. Hill's Heroics

In 1956 a West Indies team featuring the likes of Sir Garfield Sobers visited Invercargill to play Southland. Although Southland didn't win the game, John Hill of Gore produced one of Southland sport's better individual performances when he took eight for 55 against the West Indies.

2. The Trio

Three Southland players were selected in a New Zealand Cricket Hawke Cup team of the century, named in 2011 to mark 100 years of the Hawke Cup. They were Richard Hoskin, Robert ‘Jumbo' Anderson and Gren Alabaster (captain).

1. Rep Game No 1

Southland's first representative cricket game was in January 1864 when a Southland team travelled to play Otago in Dunedin.

- The Southland Times

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