South Canterbury's preparation for the Hawke Cup cricket season hit the skids at Aorangi Oval yesterday.
Before the Mark Parker Memorial match was called off when the heavens opened, Dunedin Metropolitan smashed 407 for three from their 50 overs against a hapless bowling and fielding effort.
The South Canterbury Invitational XI may not have been at full-strength, as home supporters were quick to point out afterwards, but neither were the visitors whose batting lineup featured some talented under-19 Otago bats men.
The home team were banished to all parts of the ground, with Dunedin Metropolitan hitting 41 fours and eight sixes in their innings.
South Canterbury still had enough talent on the field who were on the cusp of making the Hawke Cup side next month to put in a more spirited showing.
The Temuka opening bowling partnership of Nathan McNicol and Matt Woods were two such players, but now may have some work to do.
McNicol conceded 86 from his nine overs, which included eight front-foot no-balls.
Woods conceded 94 runs from his 10-over spell, which was a harsh lesson for the Englishman on how not to bowl on the batsman-friendly Aorangi Oval pitch with its small ground dimensions.
He was left visibly frustrated by the effort of his fieldsmen, and rightly so, as singles became comfortable twos at will and boundary-riders failed to protect the rope as diligently as they should have.
Dunedin's batsmen were in no mood to give the lacklustre home team a reprieve.
Teenage batsman Tom Griffin smacked 125 from 118 balls, while Reece Phillips finished 102 not out from 48 balls and Gregor Croudis amassed 99 not out from 78 balls faced.
Timaru's Indian import Abhishek Baadkar finished with two for 56 from his 10 overs and even managed a maiden.
South Canterbury coach Robin Beeby said he was "in disbelief" at the poor standard of fielding from his team.
"I was in disbelief at times that there were senior cricketers in the field today."
Beeby described the bowling and fielding effort as "a wake-up call".
"The only positive, I guess, is that it wasn't a full strength South Canterbury team, it was just an invitational team."
South Canterbury will play Christchurch Metropolitan in another 50-over warmup game, at Aorangi Oval, next Sunday.
- The Timaru Herald