It was a case of mission accomplished for South Canterbury as they kept their Hawke Cup challenge hopes alive with an eight-wicket win over Mid-Canterbury yesterday.
English import Matt Woods ensured a comprehensive victory.
The right-arm quick finished with 10 wickets for the match, including six for 19 in the first innings, as South Canterbury rolled the home team for 133 on Saturday.
South Canterbury coach Robin Beeby said the pitch began to produce variable bounce after lunch on the first day and it was Woods’ consistent line that produced the wickets.
Not one of the South Canterbury batsmen was able to make a big score. However, there were enough contributions from the top order to ensure first innings points and a handy lead.
The Temuka trio of Ritchie Preston (48), Johnny Geddis (31) and new captain Nick Horsley (36) all made contributions, as South Canterbury managed a satisfactory 225 all out – a 92-run lead.
“In the end, the score was enough,” Beeby said.
“I’m sure if we had won the toss and batted, we would have scored 300 and that would have been the game,” he said.
South Canterbury had little trouble dismissing Mid-Canterbury again.
The seamers did most of the damage, with Woods taking four wickets to lead the charge and dismiss them for 119 in their second effort.
While the Mid-Canterbury bowlers removed both openers, the target was a formality, with South Canterbury securing the win an hour after lunch on day two.
The returning duo of Glenn Matthews and Simon Murphy also won a glowing endorsement from the coach.
Murphy picked up wickets in both innings.
Beeby said Murphy’s knowledge and experience were valuable, while Matthews moved well behind the stumps to endorse his selection.
Both men are likely to keep their places for the crucial match against Otago Country next week, where an outright win would secure a Hawke Cup challenge, while a first innings win would mean South Canterbury would have to rely on other results.
Celtic captain Craig Davies failed twice at the top of the order.
Beeby said with the return of James Laming this week, he may be shuffled down the order to protect him from the new ball.
Beeby said despite the low-scoring game, the win would give them confidence for the match in Alexandra this Saturday.