Southland are a matter of 43 runs away from first innings points against South Canterbury after a low-scoring day one of the two-day Hawke Cup showdown at Queens Park in Invercargill today.

After a delayed start because of rain early in the day Southland won the toss and sent South Canterbury in on a wicket with tinge more green to it than usual at Queens Park and Southland immediately made inroads.

Veteran Ronnie Kotcamp bowled a fiery first spell and found back-up in the form of young left-armer Hamish Cooke to have South Canterbury reeling at five for 23 at one stage.

Tahir Afridi 69 not out for South Canterbury

Tahir Afridi 69 not out for South Canterbury

However in Tahir Afridi South Canterbury found a much needed shot maker as his unbeaten 69 from 117 balls as he saved his team from complete embarrassment and give his team’s bowers something to bowl at as they got through to 123.

South Canterbury made immediate inroads into the Southland batting lineup as Simon Wadworth, Hamish O’Brien, Geoff Folster and Hamish Skelt all went relatively cheaply.

Opening batsman and skipper Jason Domigan however rode his luck somewhat and showed some fight for his team finishing the day’s play unbeaten on 32.

At the other end was Callum Johnstone who was not out 11 while also showing plenty of determination and looking comfortable in his debut game for Southland at Hawke Cup level.

Southland finished the day 81 for four still with some work to do for first innings points but certainly in the better position.

Play will start at 10am on Sunday morning.

South Canterbury 123 all out (Tahir Afridi 69*, Zane Sanders 20; Ronnie Kotcamp 19-9-32-5, Hamish Cooke 13.2-5-32-3, Callum Johnstone 6-2-10-1, Jason Domigan 5-3-9-1), Southland 81 for four (Jason Domigan 32*)

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