The South Canterbury batsmen were the main architects in the tame handing over of the Ron Biggar Memorial Trophy to Mid Canterbury for the first time in seven years after the home team suffered a five-wicket loss at Aorangi Oval yesterday.
Another poor performance from the top-order was the key to the match as South Canterbury was dismissed for just 118 in 48 overs on a slow but comfortable pitch.
It appeared none of the South Canterbury batsmen learned from the previous Sunday’s outing when the team was dismissed for just 123 against Otago A.
Poor shots and a lack of patience punctuated the effort from South Canterbury.
While the bowlers had nothing to defend, they did well to take five wickets before the visitors got the runs in the 34th over.
With none of the batting issues sorted, the problems were compounded when South Canterbury had to default this Sunday’s final Hawke Cup warmup game against Christchurch Metropolitan because coach Robin Beeby suggested with several first choice batsmen unavailable he did not have the calibre of batsmen waiting in the wings to front up.
It means South Canterbury’s next match will be in the Hawke Cup proper against Otago Country on November 30 and December 1 at Aorangi Oval.
South Canterbury opener James Laming was the only one to look comfortable at the crease.
He played some nice shots off the front foot, but when he departed after a loose shot for 44, South Canterbury were soon 79 for seven and the match was effectively over as a contest.
Veteran Andrew Buckingham again showed the determination needed to play provincial cricket with a gritty 30.
The same level of fight was not shown by any of the other batsmen.
Harry Jones was the main destroyer for Mid Canterbury.
He removed three of South Canterbury’s top four batsmen, including out- of-form captain Nick Horsley for 0 on his way to three for 14 from nine overs.
A 72-run opening stand between Robbie Polson 34 and Ban Mably (71 not out) all but secured the match for Mid Canterbury.
Left arm seamer Nathan McNicol took two wickets in two balls to spark the game back into life as he continued to impress after his South Canterbury recall.
While the middle-order looked vulnerable, the home team did not have enough runs and with Mably anchoring the innings, the lowly total was chased down with more than 16 overs remaining.
South Canterbury coach Robin Beeby said it was up to the batsmen to rediscover their form.
“I think it’s a confidence and application thing.
“It’s up to the players (to improve),” he said. “They showed last season they had the ability so it’s up to them to find where that kind of effort has gone to.
“Everyone is disappointed in there, but it’s up to them to improve.”