South Canterbury’s very promising start finished 30 – 40 runs short of a winning total in the Ron Biggar Memorial match against Mid Canterbury at the Ashburton Domain.
Batting first South Canterbury made steady progress before losingSam Porter for their first wicket with the score on 43. As often happens in cricket the established partner also followed soon after with Captain James Laming out to a top catch for 20 and it was up to newcomers Prabodha Arthavidu and Josh Dick to build a new partnership.
While Arthavidu took a while to find his rhythm Josh Dick quickly overcame any nerves and got into his work.
The pair added 70 runs before Dick chopped one back onto his stumps after scoring 29 in a very promising debut.
Arthavidu was joined by Zane Sanders who alternated the strike at every opportunity scoring at a run a ball on his way to 35 but importantly feeding his partner the strike who was now showing his skill bringing up his fifty off 70 balls.
South Canterbury looked like putting an imposing total on the board when handily placed at 194-3 after 39 overs, but then the Mid Canterbury attack took back control as five wickets fell for the addition of only 14 runs.
At 207-8 the team had underachieved but a handy knock of 15 not out from Danny Campbell, and a few swings that connected from James Blackstock saw South Canterbury through to 231-9 at the end of their 50 overs.
While Mid Canterbury patted Harry Jones and Ben Ravenscroft on their backs after each picking up four wickets, the South Canterbury side knew what they were defending and took to the field with positive intent.
However, an early onslaught from Mid Canterbury opener James Southby soon turned things in Mid Canterbury’s favour as he scored 43 off just 24 balls before Blackstock rewarded his captain’s faith, after going for 21 runs off his opening over picking up this prized scalp and the No 3 in his third over to have Mid Canterbury 48 -2.
The introduction of off-spin from Arthavidu eventually put some breaks on the scoring, but it was the veterans Grant Watt and Kevin Teahen who really helped pull South Canterbury back into the match.
Teahen troubled all the batsman with his consistency finishing with 2-30 from his spell, and Liam Beck also got through five overs for just 14 runs before being on the end of the long handle in his sixth over as the top-scoring Mid Canterbury batsman Tait hit three sixes on his way to 63.
Mid Canterbury’s other opener Nick Gilbert also made the most of a couple of missed catches adding 61, but in the end Mid Canterbury didn’t have and scoreboard pressure on their chase as they reached the target in the 45th over for the loss of 7 wickets.
While the South Canterbury side didn’t regain the Ron Biggar Memorial, it was a good opening outing for the season with plenty of positives for the team to work on. Batsmen need to go on once established, and continue to build partnerships, because if this pitch is an indication of what is ahead with the Hawke Cup and T20 tournament also being played here, it showed it takes a while to get in, the pitch is somewhat two-paced, and it is always easier for the player that has been in for a while to continue while the new batsman becomes established.
South Canterbury innings
J Laming ct Print b Ravenscroft 20
S Porter ct Gilbert b Ravenscroft 15
P Arthavidu b Jones 65
J Dick b Jones 29
Z Sanders ct Fitch b Ravenscroft 35
L Beck ct Haworth b Jones 1
J Smallridge lbw b Jones 6
D Campbell not out 15
K Teahen lbw b Jones 0
J Blackstock ct Gilbert b Haworth 7
C Hinton not out 0
Extras: (9lb, 24w, 5nb) 38
Total: (for 9 wickets) 231
FOW: 43, 47, 117, 194, 200, 206, 206, 207, 227.
Bowling; R Print 10-1-43-0, M Haworth 9-0-38-1, B Ravenscroft 10-1-42-4, H Sinclair 5-0-27-0, J Morrison 2-0-17-0, H Jones 10-1-31-4, J Southby 4-0-22-0.
J Southby lbw b Blackstock 43
N Gilbert ct Beck b Teahen 61
J Fitch b Blackstock 0
B Houston ct and b Arthavidu 10
M Tait ct Teahen b Hinton 63
M Haworth ct Smallridge b Teahen 24
J Morrison b Hinton 9
R Print not out 12
H Sinclair not out 0
Extras; (11w, 2nb) 13
Total; (for 7 wickets) 235
FOW: 48, 48, 106, 152, 203, 219, 229.
Bowling; C Hinton 10-1-47-2, J Blackstock 5-0-41-2, P Arthavidu 8-2-42-1, G Watt 8-1-42-0, K Teahen 7.5-0-30-2, L Beck 6-1-33-0.