Winning the toss and batting first with a plan of defending a total turned out to be the correct decision if you go on the result, but it certainly didn’t look that way for most of the match between Souuth Canterbury and North Otago at Aorangi Oval.
However there were plenty of positives and a few headaches for the selectors now as the debutants made the most of their opportunities.
Danny Campbell back from a long hiatus to fill the wicketkeeping role showed grit and determination to top score with 45 not out while schoolboy Ben Cosgriff in his first official match for South Canterbury led the bowling attack taking 4-24 from his 8.3 overs.
South Canterbury could only manage 134-7 off their 50 overs.
Ben Davenport batted for over an hour as opener and was fourth out when the total was only 43. Glen Drake 23 and Phil Lill 20 also had long innings in the middle but it was Campbell’s innings that helped South Canterbury to a defendable target in the end, batting for 84 minutes. He dug in against the good deliveries but took no prisoners on poorer balls striking 5 fours and a six in his unbeaten stay.
For North Otago Jeremy Smith was the pick of the bowlers taking 2-13.
Will Sharp’s run out of North Otago captain Jeremiah Shields in the second over of their innings certainly got the South Canterbury heads up but it wasn’t until the first change bowlers came on that the next breakthrough came with Cosgriff picking up his first wicket. Glen Drake picked up the next wicket (caught Sharp) that of North Otago’s top scorer Lachie Kingan for 34 and then he and Cosgriff got into their middle order as North Otago went from 58-2 to 81-8.
This brought veteran and former Otago first class player Duncan Drew to the crease and the former opener soon showed his experience as he had partnerships of 20 and 25 with Nos 10 and 11 batsman, but in the end he couldn’t quite get his team over the line as Cosgriff returned to take the final wicket to dismiss North Otago for 127, eight runs short of victory.
A tight match with plenty of learning for both sides, and for the South Canterbury coaches perhaps more questions than answers with the first Hawke Cup match now just three weekends away.