Zane Sanders

Zane Sanders – South Canterbury captain

Some early fight from the South Canterbury bowlers eventually came to nothing in their drawn two-day cricket match against Canterbury Country yesterday at Aorangi Oval.

The inexperienced South Canterbury team, which only had one player over the age of 24, did well to dismiss the visitors for 203 on the back of three wickets from left arm quick Nathan McNicol and stand-in captain Zane Sanders.

The seamers bowled with control and accuracy and were rightly rewarded.

Mark Otley impressed with two wickets, the 15-year-old proving a good foil for McNicol who was the most threatening South Canterbury bowler in the first innings.

However, the bowlers’ hard work was soon undone as the hosts were skittled for 72 in reply.

Sanders top scored with 19.

Former Black Cap Shanan Stewart took 4-21 as the batsmen proved too loose with their shots.

With a 131-run advantage, Canterbury Country batted with confidence.

A 177-run second wicket stand between James Tapper (86) and Sam Chamberlain had South Canterbury toiling for much of the second day.

When Chamberlain was dismissed on 98, the declaration came with South Canterbury requiring an unlikely 350 for victory from a minimum of 49 overs.

The rain intervened three overs into the innings, with South Canterbury 11 without loss.

South Canterbury coach Robin Beeby said he was pleased with how his team stood-up to the challenge on the first day despite lacking big match experience.

“I thought the seamers bowled some really tights lines and lengths on the first day.

“Nathan McNicol has really improved with his control this season, while Mark Otley really impressed me as well.”

Beeby said considering none of the players were involved in the Hawke Cup challenge just eight months ago, it was a strong effort.

“It goes to show we do have more depth than I originally thought,” he said. “We will need to score more than 200 at some point this season though.”

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