Southland back in it but plenty of work to do

NATHAN BURDON
Last updated 05:00 08/03/2014

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The Southland cricket team has plenty of work to do today in its Hawke Cup challenge against Manawatu.

Southland need seven more wickets with 209 runs in hand to take first-innings points and the initiative in the challenge, after three late wickets yesterday brought the challengers back into the contest.

Earlier, former New Zealand bowler Michael Mason cut a swathe through Southland’s top order, ending the day with figures of six for 36.

The 39-year-old, who played the last of his 26 one-day internationals in 2010 and retired from first-class cricket in 2011, had Southland in all sorts of bother at 100 for five, before late-innings knocks by Craig Smith, Jared McKenzie and Mark Beer helped the visitors post a competitive total.

Sam Ward’s 56 stood out in a top-order effort that featured several batsmen getting starts before failing to go on.

Southland coach Steve Jackson said Mason’s class was hard to combat.

‘‘He was difficult, particularly with the new ball, and the balls stayed good all the way through. He was obviously the big difference between a 240 score and a 340 score today.’’

Southland’s bowlers, who managed to knock the top off the Manawatu batting order during a 10-over spell before stumps last night, would need to hit their marks today.

‘‘At the moment, our quicks have taken a wicket each. They are old, experienced campaigners who desperately want to win that cup, so they are doing everything. We need to make sure we keep hitting the right lengths, which has probably been our problem area up until now. We tend to bowl a bit haphazardly and we need to get it right on this pitch. If we do that, we are in with a good chance.’’

With the three-day game already well advanced and the forecast looking good for the weekend, first-innings points could be moot, but Jackson would love to start Southland’s second turn at bat with a 100-run buffer.

Manawatu will start this morning 31 for three, with Central Districts batsman David Meiring on 12, and Robert Sheary yet to face a ball.

Southland last successfully challenged for the Hawke Cup, the symbol of minor association dominance in domestic cricket, in 1989, defending the trophy through 15 matches over the next three years.

SCOREBOARD

SOUTHLAND

First innings

RM Duffy c M Renwick b NA Patel 11

SM Ward c RAD Sheary b MJ Mason 56

HF O’Brien c BS Cleaver b MJ Mason 1

SM Fitzgibbon c BS Cleaver b MJ Mason 11

A Singh c PJ Mecredy b MJ Mason 15

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JM Domigan c BS Cleaver b NA Patel 12

CM Smith lbw b AW Noema-Barnett 39

JB McKenzie not out 42

MD Beer c AW Noema-Barnett b NA Patel 32

MJ Grattan c M Renwick b MJ Mason 3

JM Hodson c NA Patel b MJ Mason 2

Extras (b3, lb4, nb9 16

Total (for 10wkts, 87.5 overs) 240

Fall: 27 (RM Duffy, 8.3), 34 (HF O’Brien, 15.3), 70 (SM Fitzgibbon, 25.3), 100 (A Singh, 29.2), 100 (SM Ward, 29.5), 120 (JM Domigan, 40.3), 177 (CM Smith, 71.1), 229 (MD Beer, 84.1), 234 (MJ Grattan, 85.5), 240 (JM Hodson, 87.5).

Bowling: PJ Mecredy 10-3-32-0, B Templeman 18-8-38-0 (1nb), NA Patel 19-3-60-3 (7nb), MJ Mason 13.5-3-36-6, TJ Richards 19-5-53-0, AW Noema-Barnett 8-3-14-1 (1nb)

MANAWATU 

First innings BS Cleaver lbw b MD Beer 10

JB McGregor lbw b CM Smith 1

M Renwick c SM Fitzgibbon b JM Hodson 6

DT Meiring not outl 2

RAD Sheary not out 0

Extras (lb1, nb1) 2

Total (for 3wkts, 10.0 overs) 31

Fall: 4 (JB McGregor, 3.5), 14 (BS Cleaver, 6.4), 31 (M Renwick, 9.6)

Bowling: MD Beer 5-1-18-1, CM Smith 4-1-9-1, JM Hodson 1-0-3-1 (1nb)

- The Southland Times

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