Lower order fight stops total collapse

JACOB PAGE
Last updated 05:00 24/02/2014
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WATCHFUL EYE: Mid Canterbury opener Robbie Polson prepares for a delivery during his side's innings victory over South Canterbury in the Hawke Cup. MARK LAWSON/Fairfax NZ

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The frailty of South Canterbury's batting was brutally exposed in an innings and 18-run defeat to Mid Canterbury in the last Hawke Cup cricket match of the season at Aorangi Oval yesterday.

The result meant South Canterbury lost any chance of sneaking a Hawke Cup Challenge against Manawatu, that will instead go to Southland.

The home team was rolled for 127 after being asked to bat first and then after watching the visitors make 314 for eight declared, they could only muster 169 all out.

The match is likely to be the last for coach Robin Beeby and manager John Davies who both indicated they would not be back for another season.

Former South Canterbury captain Todd Elliotte appears the early frontrunner to take charge of the team next season.

South Canterbury managed just one total of more than 200 in its four Hawke Cup matches this season, and had it not been for some low-order fight, the result could have been far more embarrassing.

South Canterbury was 91 for nine in its first innings before an innings high 36-run last wicket stand of 36 between Craig Hinton (11) and top-scorer James Blackstock (24) got them to triple figures.

Mid Canterbury seamer Robbie Polson was the main beneficiary of South Canterbury's loose shot selection and inability to bat long periods of time.

He took five for 35 in 17 overs, after South Canterbury had reached 35 without loss. The mid Canterbury batsmen showed the pitch was a good batting deck.

Polson added 56 opening the innings, as he and Bo Houston (43) ensured they had earned first innings points by stumps on day one.

William Southby set-up the comprehensive win with a stellar 90.

The South Canterbury bowlers toiled hard by with few runs on the board and a more watchful batting attack to contend with, they struggled to make inroads.

Mid Canterbury captain Matt Winter declared with a lead of 187 four overs before lunch.

Veteran quick bowler Richard Print made sure his teammates enjoyed their lunch by removing both South Canterbury openers with just 16 on the board.

Malik Patel (37) and Glen Drake (26) added 53 for the fourth wicket but when they departed, the rot set in once again. At 97 for six, it was left to Nathan McNicol (37) and Hinton (12) to draw the game out beyond tea with a 44-run ninth wicket partnership. But when McNicol departed, the writing was on the wall, as the hosts failed to make Mid Canterbury bat again by 18 runs.

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- The Timaru Herald

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