[singlepic id=52 w=320 h=240 float=right]Todd Elliotte’s 99th match for the province will not feature highly in his memories after Mid Canterbury won the toss and made the play for most of the match. Aorangi Oval is always a tough place for the fielding side, and when chances come they have to be taken, but South Canterbury were guilty of too many dropped catches, some which may have changed the way the match played out.
Mid Canterbury’s first wicket fell with only seven runs in the book, but then partnerships of 70, 59 and 98 ensued as Robert Madden scored a patient 54 and Des Kruger again relished the conditions before Craig Davies had him caught by Dan Laming (1 of 3 catches) in sight of his century for 94.
Most of the Mid Canterbury middle order made double figures too before they were finally dismissed for 334 late in the afternoon on day one. South Canterbury batted through to be 76-2 after 29 overs at stumps with Dan Laming 28 not out and Matt Barnes 24 not out at the crease.
Day two dawned and the going was tough after Laming was first out for 44, Matt Mealings without scoring and James Laming for 9 to have South Canterbury 125-5 and a long way short of avoiding the follow on.
The southerly change which came through appeared to breathe new life into Mid Canterbury’s Richard Print who bowled unchanged for two hours on his way to a six wicket bag, including Barnes who was sixth out for 45 and Print finished with 6-52.
However, Glenn Matthews found some partners in the tail order especially Kevin Teahen who batted an hour for his 18 not out. Matthews brought up his fifty just before lunch to help South Canterbury stay in the hunt to avoid the follow on, but as so often happens after a break the game changes and after lunch Matthews was dismissed for 63 with the South Canterbury score at 230, one wicket remaining and still four short of the follow on total. A further run was added before Craig Hinton was given out lbw and Mid Canterbury immediately asked South Canterbury to bat again.
Jeremy Liddy started positively with some good drives before being out caught for 29 and Craig Davies and Matt Barnes then batted through until the hailstorm arrived which meant an early tea was taken, but with further rain the match was finally called off about 4.00pm with South Canterbury 57-1.
With the first match in the Hawke Cup abandoned, and currently under appeal, the first innings loss to Mid Canterbury has not helped the cause and South Canterbury will be looking to make all the running in a search for outright points in the remaining two matches against North Otago and Otago Country in the New Year.