The South Canterbury under-18 cricket team are probably still wondering how they didn’t win a game at their zone tournament in Christchurch last week.
Despite finishing last, Jack Harper made it into the Canterbury under-18 squad, while Sam Porter will act as a reserve.
Playing two teams from Christchurch, Mid Canterbury, Canterbury and a combined Buller/Christchurch metro side, South Canterbury lost four of their five matches in agonising fashion.
The week-long tournament saw each team play every team in either a two-day game, two 50-over matches and two Twenty20s.
South Canterbury faced Buller/Christchurch Metro in their two-day match at Ilam fields, drawing the game but losing on the first innings.
South Canterbury made 277, largely thanks to Josh Dick’s 92. He was supported by Sam Porter with 34, and Jack Harper 32.In reply, the Buller/Christchurch Metro side showed good application, batting for more than a day, as they just managed to overhaul their first innings target before the end of the game, finishing on 285 for five.
Ben Watson was the best of the South Canterbury bowlers, taking two for 52.
The first one-day match against Metro Black was a tight tussle.
Porter and Harper combined for a 106-run partnership before Harper was dismissed two short of his 50.
Porter powered-on and finished on 130 not out, in South Canterbury’s total of 242 for six.
Metro Black steadily chased after the target, but wickets tumbled regularly.
With one wicket remaining for victory, Metro Black were able to sneak the run needed off the second-to-last ball of the game.
Daniel Dorgan finished with two for 49 and Nathan McNicol three for 37.
Canterbury Country inflicted a similar loss on the team the next day.
A stubborn lower-order fightback propelled South Canterbury from 111 for six to 193 for nine at the end of 50 overs.
South Canterbury used nine bowlers to try to restrict the Canterbury Country batsmen.
They needed four runs from the final over, with one wicket remaining, and once again South Canterbury came up short, losing with three balls remaining.
The exciting Twenty20 format brought Metro Red for a game, and once again South Canterbury batted first.
Glen Drake made 49 while Matt Brown made 23 and Harry Millar 21, in the team’s 118 for five.
This was not enough however, as the bowlers struggled to remove the Metro Red batsmen, South Canterbury losing by eight wickets.
South Canterbury decided to chase a total for the first time in the tournament in their final Twenty20 game against Mid Canterbury.
Despite having their closest rivals at 100 for six with five overs to go, South Canterbury allowed too many runs in the closing stages which left them chasing 151.
Harper stood out with the ball with three for 25.
South Canterbury were destined to remain winless, Drake’s 36, Millar’s 35 and Nick Galwey’s 24 were not enough and they lost by four runs.
Coach Chris Galwey said they were desperately unlucky.
“Even now I look back and I don’t think we could have done anything differently.
“All the guys played well, but we just had a couple of fielding things, which were minor … but when you look back at it they were actually costing you games.”