SOUTH Canterbury JAB rep cricket finally got under way with both teams recording wins against North Otago in games on Sunday. North Otago won the toss and elected to bat first in the A game played on an Aorangi Oval wicket that looked full of runs.
A solid bowling and fielding display saw North Otago dismissed for just 67 runs. In his wicketkeeping debut for the SC As, Henry Morley-Hall gloved three catches behind the stumps in a solid display.
All the SC bowlers kept the pressure on, with Chris Hogan (3 for 8 off five overs) leading the way. Nick O’Brien (2 for 9 from nine) overs was also economic.
Liam Cosgrove, Matthew McKenzie, James Hawkey each picked up a wicket. Michael Lees took one wicket in his five-over spell and conceded no run.
Only one batsman from North Otago, D Mahuka, reached double figures, scoring 10 runs.
Despite the loss of an early wicket, South Canterbury reached the target in 26 overs.
Newly promoted opening batsman Brett Walker scored a well-compiled 32 not out and, along with Patrick Simpson, on 20 not out, ensured there were no hiccups in South Canterbury’s run chase.
A South Canterbury XI made up of players from years four to seven took on an equivalent team from North Otago in a game that went down to the wire.
Batting first, North Otago was dismissed for 130. Connor Bradley (3-19) and Ben Aicken (3-12) were the main destroyers.
South Canterbury started their run chase confidently, scoring at a good rate but consistently lost wickets. At 67 for 6 the South Canterbury innings looked shaky but a 51-run partnership between Cullen Grace (23) and Mark Ottley (13) set the game up for an exciting finish.
With just one over left, South Canterbury needed five runs. They held their nerve to win the game with two balls to spare.
All three JAB teams will be in action on Sunday against Christchurch Metro with the games being played at the Geraldine Domain.
In previous years these games have usually gone Christchurch’s way but with some emerging talent South Canterbury will be looking for upsets against their fancied opposition.