South Canterbury’s next generation of seam bowlers may have proven themselves but the batsmen did little to push their case for Hawke Cup selection after a 79-run defeat to Otago A in the annual Mark Parker Memorial cricket match yesterday.
South Canterbury restricted Otago A to 202 all out but could muster only 123 in reply after the home side had slumped to 32 for five in the face of some quick, accurate left-arm fast bowling from former Otago representative Blair Soper.
South Canterbury’s inexperienced seam attack was led well by the nagging line and length of veteran medium pacer James Laming.
The all-rounder was pivotal in keeping the middle-order in check after a platform was laid which could have seen the visitors post more than 270 on a typically placid Aorangi Oval pitch.
Brad Rodden (53) and Tim Muir (51) combined for a 98-run fifth wicket stand before both were removed by Laming’s accurate bowling which helped him to figures of four for 31 from 10 overs.
Left-arm quick Nathan McNicol was the standout bowler for the home team.
His extra pace and bounce made him hard to play.
He got good carry, beating the bat several times, and had two catches dropped off his bowling and still managed three for 38 from nine overs.
The effort would have erased memories of his nine-over spell in the same match last year where he went wicketless and conceded 86 runs.
James Blackstock showed why he had been on the cusp of the top team for some time, on his way to three wickets on debut.
The 14-year-old seamer Mark Otley would have learned plenty from his first outing for South Canterbury.
He gave up two front-foot no-balls with the subsequent free hits costing him 10, so his figures of none for 41 from six were respectable and, apart from the odd delivery, his line and length earned the respect of the visiting batsmen.
South Canterbury’s run chase never got going, with five wickets falling in quick time.
Rory Lorimer, who took four catches with the wicket-keeping gloves got a duck on debut, as did Adam Beck.
Both batsmen failed to adjust to the extra pace of Soper (three for nine) and Michael Sneddon (two for 25).
It was left to two 11th hour call-ups in Andrew Buckingham and Will Watt to put some respectability into the scorecard.
Buckingham, who probably thought he had played his last game for South Canterbury a decade ago, battled to survive early before flourishing with some boundaries on his way to 22.
Englishman Watt stuck around to make 27 but after their 53-run sixth-wicket stand was broken, the end came quickly in the 40th over.
South Canterbury coach Robin Beeby said the batsmen had learned just what a big step up it was to go from club cricket to representative cricket.
He said the bowlers performed well and stuck to what they had been doing in training, and the outcome with the ball was beyond all expectations.
South Canterbury will play Mid Canterbury for the Ron Biggar Memorial Trophy at Aorangi Oval on Sunday.