South Canterbury earned a crucial first innings victory over North Otago before the rain intervened yesterday in the Hawke Cup cricket match in Oamaru.
South Canterbury’s most experienced bowler, Craig Hinton starred with the ball as he took five for 32 in North Otago’s first innings response to the visitors’ 276 all out after being asked to bat first.
South Canterbury resumed yesterday by having the hosts on the ropes at 152 for seven and with the knowledge that heavy rain was forecast to curtail the game in a matter of hours.
It took just eight balls for South Canterbury to take the remaining three wickets for first innings’ points and while captain Jimmy Laming did enforce the follow-on, only 13.4 overs of the second innings was possible before the rain arrived and the match was called off just after 2pm.
North Otago were 41 for three at the time, still 78 runs from making South Canterbury bat again.
Hinton finished with figures of seven for 47 for the match.
Earlier, South Canterbury had amassed an imposing first innings total thanks to timely contributions from the top and lower order.
Laming struck 73 which included 62 runs in boundaries.
He said post-match that the best defence was attack on the pitch. He and the returning Richie Preston (37) added 76 for the opening wicket.
Jack Harper continued to show promise batting at No 4.
He made a brisk 39 before he became one of four victims of North Otago’s South African-born import Francois Mostert.
The middle-order largely failed to capitalise on the foundation set and North Otago found themselves back in the game at 197 for seven.
However, a maiden half century from 17-year-old wicketkeeper Adam Beck gave South Canterbury its momentum back.
He was the main contributor in the fightback with 54 as the last three wickets added 82 valuable runs. By contrast North Otago’s last three wickets added zero.
The medium pace of Mostert grabbed four for 68 while captain Ben Cant took two wickets for the home team.
With Southland also earning a first innings win over Mid Canterbury yesterday, both they and South Canterbury are tied at the top of the southern zone table ahead of the two teams meeting this weekend in Invercargill.