Story by Brayden Lindsay, Fairfax. Photos by Tetsuro Mitomo/FAIRFAX NZ

Wet weather and a gritty century to Francois Mostert ruined South Canterbury’s chance of first innings honours against North Otago in a Hawke Cup match at Aorangi Oval.

The green-and-whites were hoping to stamp their authority in this clash and put them in good stead for their next two clashes, but the rain had the final say with the match being abandoned.

North Otago were put into bat, and South Canterbury struck early through Canterbury A representative Nathan McNicol.

He clean bowled Duncan Drew for 2.

McNicol bowled with good pace and was in the wickets once again as he cleaned up fellow opener Dallas Mahuika the same way a short time later.

North Otago looked in early trouble but Craig Smith and Jeremy Smith steadied the ship for the visitors.

The pair put on 60 before Craig became McNicol’s third victim when he was trapped in front.

Jeremy Smith was run out by some good work from debutant Mark Otley off his own bowling, who then picked up Brady Kingan next ball.

Mostert, North Otago’s star over the past three seasons, dug in and frustrated the South Canterbury team.

He punished anything short and scored plenty runs off his pads and through the covers.

Regan George, who was a late callup to the side, made the most of his opportunity smashing 49, before falling to Sam Carlaw.

Blake James made a gritty 35 before he became McNicol’s fourth victim, caught by Jacob Naylor.

He led the way with four wickets, Carlaw picked up two and Otley one, while Stanley Mair and Craig Hinton bowled without reward.

South Canterbury coach Nick Horsley said their missed opportunities in the field proved costly.

“We probably dropped about four regulation chances and that hurt us a bit.

“The bowlers bowled really well but the fielders just let them down at times.”

He said that was the difference to them only batting 2.4 overs instead of 30 to 40, if catches were held.

“It was a good workout for the bowlers and that’s what we wanted. It would have been nice to see the batsmen spend time in the middle but cricket is one of those games and weather can dictate it.”

South Canterbury were 9-0 nearing the end of day one when the rain fell, with no further play on day two.

South Canterbury also lost key batsman Prabodha Arthavidu to a dislocated shoulder, putting him in doubt for next weekend’s key match in Alexandra against Otago Country.

Both teams picked up five points for the washout.

Southland now lead the Southern Zone with 20 points, following their first innings victory over Mid Canterbury, South Canterbury are second with 17, Otago Country have 12, North Otago 5 and Mid Canterbury 0.

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