Craig Davies was the star of the show as he batted for the entire South Canterbury first innings against Mid Canterbury in the final Hawke Cup elimination match of the season. Davies’ innings of 225 runs from 331 balls in 378 minutes (5 ½ hours at the crease) set a new record score by a South Canterbury batsman, surpassing the previous best of 209 not out made by Stephen Pagan in 2004.
To put the value of this innings into perspective, the next best score by a SC batsman was only 35, and Davies was last out with the score at 390. There were some nervous moments (perhaps not in the middle for the assured looking Davies), but definitely on the sidelines as he approached this huge milestone and wickets fell at the other end. A very nervous looking No 11, Grant Watt, joined Davies when he was still a couple of runs short of the record as spectators and players alike held their breaths, but Watt was solid and then Davies played the shot of an already impressive innings as he lofted the bowler to ‘cow corner’ (wide mid on) to break the record. He duly followed this up with another six and four in successive balls before his innings and that of South Canterbury ended.
With 9 overs to be bowled before stumps South Canterbury picked up a wicket to end play for the day in a dominant position.
Day two saw Mid Canterbury set about a long chase for first innings points with a century partnership for the second wicket and more solid partnerships with contributions of 73 from Dave Maw, Lyal Jemmett 49 and Robert Madden 55, before the introduction of the new ball brought immediate success with two wickets falling at 266.
Todd Elliotte bowled a long spell of 31 overs to finish with 4-65 while Craig Hinton had a defiant Garth Jemmett caught on the boundary for 41 to claim his 5th victim (5-94) and close the Mid Canterbury innings at 313 giving a first innings win to South Canterbury.
Craig Davies capped off a fine match by taking the other wicket, while for Mid Canterbury, No 11 Wayne McDowell finished the match with more career runs than wickets to his name for the first time for Mid Canterbury.