Prabodha Arthavidu again starred with the bat, scoring 76 and 112 for South Canterbury against Otago Country in their Hawke Cup clash.
South Canterbury travelled to Alexandra looking for an outright victory to keep them in the hunt for a Hawke Cup challenge.
Without usual captain James Laming, Sam Carlaw took over that role while Willie Stone covered his opening spot in his Hawke Cup debut.
Otago Country won the toss and had no hesitation in asking South Canterbury to bat as they looked for maximum points in their final elimination match to have a chance of winning the zone.
The Country captain could see a touch of green and some dew in the outfield on the first morning.
Opening batsmen Stone and Sam Porter negated the decision, batting through the first 40 minutes against the speed of Sam Blakely and youngster Blake Buttar-Scurr before Porter started a mini-collapse as he, Jake Naylor and Stone went with the score at 30.
Josh Dick joined Arthavidu in the middle and together the pair set about rebuilding the innings, making a very successful fist of it, adding 96 runs.
Dick was out in in the final over before lunch for a well compiled 39, his top score for South Canterbury.
Arthavidu was battling an injury and with runners no longer allowed quick singles were no longer part of the equation.
However, he made Otago Country pay for two missed chances with a mix of off-side drives alongside his normal legside strength before finally being dismissed leg before for 76, also his highest score for South Canterbury.
The tail didn’t wag apart from a run a ball 21 from Willie Wright and South Canterbury was all out for 193.
The very hot conditions meant it was not easy for South Canterbury in the field but early success for James Blackstock helped.
Blackstock removed both openers on his way to deserved figures of 2 for 8 off 11 overs.
The side’s enthusiasm didn’t waiver, evidenced by some great commitment in the field.
Ben Watson chimed in with a wicket and then when a breeze finally arrived, the spin twins Carlaw and Arthavidu got into the act.
Carlaw bowled unchanged for 14 overs and was rewarded with 3 for 35.
Needing an outright to stay in the hunt, Otago Country looked in a lot of trouble as they slumped to 48-5 and then 80-6 before Otago Country captain Fraser Wilson led a one-man crusade as he looked to resurrect his team’s fortunes.
Eventually he became Liam Beck’s only victim out for 96 at better than a run a ball, but his dismissal brought about a declaration 28 runs behind as Country looked for maximum points.
The declaration may have been a bit late, perhaps hindered by his opportunity to score a century.
It meant South Canterbury had to see out two overs before stumps on day 1, a job the openers accomplished with ease finishing the day 10 without loss.
The second day dawned even hotter than the first, with temperatures in the thirties and this time unfortunately with no breeze.
Porter didn’t last long, out lbw for 10, but then it became the Stone show, as he dug in and made the most of his opportunity.
He waited for the balls he could play, defended stoutly or let the ball go, and there were plenty of those going past his grill.
Stone played some great cover drives alongside his trademark scoring behind square, and was obviously bitterly disappointed when bowled by Blakely 14 short of a maiden century.
While many eyes had been on Stone, Arthavidu had continued where he left off on the first day, but moving more easily.
He was on 65 when Stone was dismissed after the pair had added 156 runs together and taken South Canterbury’s lead over 200.
Joined by Naylor, Arthavidu picked up the dominant role and before long had passed his previous best of 76 and moved into the nineties with an array of cover drives and strong legside flicks which regularly went to the boundary.
There was no falling short as a couple of boundaries secured his first century for South Canterbury, just reward for his great season before finally falling to a catch at cover.
Naylor (34no) and Carlaw (33no) then went on the charge as the declaration loomed, scoring their runs in about three overs before declaring at 286-3.
This left Otago Country requiring 315 runs to win off 54 overs, a run chase of approximately six an over, which was the equivalent of what South Canterbury had been scoring at on a now benign pitch.
Otago Country appeared to have decided in the shed to go through the motions. While the South Canterbury bowlers worked hard, there was little reward as Otago Country batted through until the match was called off at the fall of Matt Goldstein’s wicket, out for 82 and their total 195-3 off just 45 overs.
South Canterbury’s only real chance appeared to be that if Otago Country chased and they should have at least tried initially.
South Canterbury is unlikely to win the challenge but have certainly proven to be a tough customer.
With a youthful team, as well as injured players to return, there is healthy competition for places in the next match with Southland at home during Waitangi weekend.
Toss won by Otago Country who chose to field.
|South Canterbury v Otago Country at Molyneux Park|
Toss won by Otago Country who chose to field.
|South Canterbury first innings|
W Stone c Williams b Buttar-Scurr 18
S Porter c Knox b Blakely 11
P Arthavidu lbw b Wilson 76
J Naylor b Buttar-Scurr 0
J Dick b Buttar-Scurr 39
S Carlaw lbw b Wilson 3
W Wright c Andrew b Blakely 21
L Beck c Patterson b Blakely 0
B Watson b Buttar-Scurr 1
J Blackstock c Buttar-Scurr b Blakely 2
G Watt not out 7
Extras (b 7, lb 4, w 3, nb 2) 16
Total (for 10 wickets, 55 overs) 193
Fall of Wicket: 30, 30, 30, 124, 140, 181, 182, 182, 183, 193.
Bowling: S Blakely 21-8-56-4, B Buttar-Scurr 14-3-51-4, M Knox 6-0-25-0, S Windle 4-1-15-0, H Burns 3-0-9-0, F Wilson 7-2-26-2.
|Otago Country first innings|
H Burns c Arthavidu b Blackstock 5
L Cotton c Wright b Blackstock 9
M Goldstein c Wright b Watson 4
F Wilson lbw b Beck 96
J Andrew c Blackstock b Carlaw 20
B Buttar-Scurr lbw b Carlaw 0
K Patterson b Carlaw 4
M Williams not out 19
Extras (b 2, lb 1, pen 5) 8
Total(for 7 wickets declared, 50.5 overs) 165
Fall of Wicket: 6, 17, 19, 48, 48, 80, 165.
Bowling: J Blackstock 11-6-8-2, B Watson 11-1-43-1, G Watt 2-0-12-0, P Arthavidu 9-1-42-0, S Carlaw 14-5-35-3, L Beck 3.5-0-17-1.
|South Canterbury second innings|
W Stone b Blakely 86
S Porter lbw b Buttar-Scurr 10
P Arthavidu c Williams b Goldstein 112
J Naylor not out 34
S Carlaw not out 33
Extras (b 4, lb 6, nb 1) 11
Total (for 3 wickets declared, 53 overs) 286
Fall of Wicket: 16, 173, 249.
Bowling: S Blakely 13-1-45-1, B Buttar-Scurr 13-1-45-1, M Knox 9-1-39-0, S Windle 5-0-28-0, H Burns 8-0-56-0, M Goldstein 4-0-39-1, L Cotton 1-0-24-0.
|Otago Country second innings|
H Burns c Carlaw b Arthavidu 47
L Cotton lbw b Watson 20
M Goldstein c Porter b Blackstock 82
J Andrew not out 28
F Wilson not out 0
Extras (b 2, lb 6, w 6, nb 1) 15
Total (for 3 wickets, 45.3 overs) 192
Fall of Wicket: 33, 114, 192.
Bowling: J Blackstock 10.3-3-38-1, B Watson 10-1-59-1, G Watt 8-0-35-0, P Arthavidu 5-0-22-1, S Carlaw 12-3-30-0.
|Result: South Canterbury won on first innings.|