South Canterbury’s chances of challenging for the Hawke Cup are over.
The side needed an outright victory against Southland to keep their hopes alive but instead suffered one against a clinical opposition.
Again South Canterbury’s inability to score first-innings runs hampered the side for the second time in a row.
Southland took most of their chances in the field, were more patient with the bat on the opening day and stood strong when it mattered most in an entertaining clash.
South Canterbury won the toss and put Southland into bat on a green Aorangi Oval wicket.
Opener Rhuebyn Prattley scored 13 off just nine deliveries before falling to James Blackstock, who ended with five wickets in the match.
South Canterbury chipped away at the Southland lineup taking wickets at regular intervals.
Otago Volts top order batsman Ryan Duffy top scored with a patient 49 before South Canterbury’s part time seamer James Laming snuck one through his defences, while Amarpreet Singh scored 34 off just 30 balls, before falling to Craig Hinton.
Southland made 193 batting first, a score South Canterbury would have backed themselves to get.
Jacob Naylor went first ball to a good delivery from Bailey Andrews-Kennedy, while three of the South Canterbury batsmen got starts.
Debutant Supeshala Jayathilake showed plenty of fight to end 42 not out, Liam Beck made 36 before a loose shot ended his innings and Glen Drake hit 22 before he played round a Jason Domigan delivery.
Stan Mair and James Laming made double figures but the rest was slim pickings as the hosts folded for just 131.
South Canterbury started well with the ball in Southland’s second innings reducing them to 18-3 before a Laming dropped catch proved costly.
Blackstock had picked up three early scalps and looked to have a fourth in James Ng before Laming failed to take the catch.
He then went on to make 30, before finding Stan Mair in the deep.
Duffy carried on from the first innings making 86 with a number of well timed shots through the off side on both the front and back foot.
Jason Osborne hit a quick fire 26 not out off 14 balls, while Hamish O’Brien (18) and Jason Domigan (15) made starts.
Mair picked up four wickets to help bowl Southland out for 206.
South Canterbury needed 269 for victory and gave it a good crack.
Laming and Arthavidu fell early but Naylor and Beck played superbly.
Naylor (71) punished anything he could get his hands to in his 81-ball stay, while Beck (57) played a number of strong aerial shots through the off side.
Osborne, who took four second innings wickets removed the dangerous Naylor, while Beck fell to Domigan, again trying to go over the top.
Sam Carlaw hit three fours in a row before being bowled, then Mair batted superbly to score a defiant 50 not out.
Blackstock was the last man out to Duffy, who backed up his batting deeds with four wickets, giving Southland a 38-run win.
Southland sit top with 32 points and earning them a challenge no matter what happens with Otago Country next weekend as they defeated them in their clash in Alexandra.
Otago Country sit second with 20 and face Mid Canterbury next weekend, North Otago and South Canterbury are tied on 17 and Mid Canterbury have 0.