South Canterbury’s dominance in the annual Ron Biggar Memorial match played against Mid Canterbury continued as they chalked up their fourth consecutive win in convincing fashion in their first match at the Aorangi Oval for the season.
Mid Canterbury won the toss and batted but quickly came unstuck with a run out in the first over. Kris Howes continued his fine weekend with the ball as he removed Lyall Jemmett and Robert Madden soon after, both regarded as the senior batsmen in the Mid Canterbury team and they were on he back foot at 14-3.
Des Kruger then settled in to build a good innings, but he kept losing partners as Kevin Teahen and Tom Walsh (on debut) both grabbed one wicket apiece. Eventually Kruger found some support from Stoddart after the innings had been perilously poised at 53-6 and together they added 67 runs to add some respectability. However, the loss of Kruger for a solid 55 brought about a further collapse as Todd Elliotte picked up 3 wickets, and Glenn Matthews picked up his third run out of the day to dismiss Mid Canterbury for 133 in the 42nd over.
Craig Davies opened and continued where he left off after Saturday’s century and was quickly in to stride. Although he lost fellow opener Jeremy Liddy early on, club mate Matt Mealings with 21 helped him add 66 for the second wicket. Davies continued on, and although the Mid Canterbury bowling tightened up and good field placing kept scoring to a minimum, he showed maturity and patience as he waited for any bad balls on offer.
James Laming stayed around a while but could only manage 5 runs and then Liam Crowley joined Davies who brought up his half century from only 63 deliveries and that included 6 fours. He would go on to make 61 before being caught at a deep wide long on position, but by then the score was 111 and the damage had been done by South Canterbury.
Crowley was also patient while waiting for the bad ball and his score of 21 included 5 boundaries, while Glenn Matthews had a brief flurry sweeping Jemmett for consecutive fours before chancing his arm again to be out stumped for the second week in a row. Sam Carlaw strode to the crease, scored a boundary and then watched as Crowley played a straight drive for four to give the win to South Canterbury in the 38th over.
The match was a good chance for South Canterbury to play on a decent batting track and spend some valuable time in the middle, and the enthusiasm was apparent to see with a very good fielding display.
Already there have been a number of different players who have had a chance to show their skills in front of the selectors, and places in the Hawke Cup team will not be a given with plenty of challenges for the various spots. Next weekend is the final hit out with a match against North Otago, and then the first round will see South Canterbury travel to Invercargill to take on Southland.