The South Canterbury team won the Ron Biggar Memorial Trophy match against Mid Canterbury for the seventh consecutive year, thanks to a five-wicket win in Ashburton yesterday.
A stunning debut innings from Glen Drake of 76 not out held the South Canterbury run-chase together after they had slumped to 85 for four after 25 overs in pursuit of 216 for victory.
The 50-over match is a regular warmup fixture for the Hawke Cup season. South Canterbury coach Robin Beeby said he was thrilled to see so many of his young, inexperienced selections contribute to the win.
Teenage batsman Sam Porter added 43 with the bat and combined with Drake to steer South Canterbury out of early trouble.
“It’s a very positive sign for the rest of this season that those two younger guys played the way they did,” Beeby said.
“It possibly is a changing of the guard for this team, but we will need to wait and see what happens,” he said.
Temuka’s Canterbury under-20 left-arm pace bowler Nathan McNicol took three wickets after recovering from a left-wrist injury which kept him out of club cricket on Saturday, while English import Matt Woods took two wickets.
Beeby said he was frustrated that his team let Mid Canterbury off the hook when they had them in trouble at 51 for five.
“That was disappointing but it wasn’t helped by some dropped catches which allowed them to get in.
“We certainly had them on the ropes.”
He said while it looked like his top-order had failed, all of them made starts but failed to capitalise on them.
The team was disrupted by the absence of Celtic wicketkeeper-batsman Jacob Naylor.
He did not turn up to the team bus and Beeby had not received an explanation as to why he did not show up.
Opening batsman Johnny Geddis did the wicketkeeping for the match.
Beeby hinted that some of his squad may back up for the Mark Parker Memorial match against a Dunedin XI on Sunday.
However, he he said that the next major hit-out would be against Christchurch Suburban at Aorangi Oval in a fortnight.