South Canterbury have given North Otago plenty to think about after a 114-run win in their 50-over warm-up match in Oamaru yesterday.
The two teams will meet again in the opening round of the Hawke Cup competition at Aorangi Oval in Timaru on December 8-9.
While there is always the chance of both teams keeping their cards close to their chest for the game that actually matters, South Canterbury produced a display worthy of some thought from the home team.
It was first-time captain Sam Carlaw and recalled Temuka batsman Ritchie Preston who cashed in with the bat.
Carlaw made 82 and Preston 81, while James Laming continued his strong start to the season by making 46 as South Canterbury managed 283 for eight and then restricted North Otago to 169 for eight in reply.
Laming grabbed two wickets while the rest were shared around.
Despite the margin of victory, South Canterbury coach Robin Beeby said not many of his selection headaches had been alleviated.
"It was a good deck and the batsmen took advantage of it," Beeby said. "It was an adequate performance.
"They (North Otago) pretty much gave up on the chase after 10 overs, so I don't know what to think about it all."
Beeby said he was hopeful of knowing this week whether South Canterbury turned Canterbury all-rounder Ben McCord would be available for the first match next month.
His versatility as a middle-order batsman and seam bowler was likely to free up another batting spot. Beeby said Temuka pace bowler Matt Woods had claimed the inside running to become South Canterbury's overseas player.
He said Woods outplayed Indian batsman Srinivas KS yesterday and took five wickets against Celtic in club cricket on Saturday.
Beeby said this weekend's round of club cricket would be valuable to decide the composition of his first Hawke Cup team.
- The Timaru Herald