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Top order . . . Otago Sparks captain Kate Ebrahim top-scored with 31 for the Sparks against the Wellington Blaze in their Hallyburton Johnston Shield match in Oamaru. PHOTO: SCOTT CAMERON

Effort, attitude and energy.

Those are the key things North Otago Hawke Cup coach Stu Slack is looking for from his players this weekend, as they take on an in-form Southland team.

‘‘I think if you apply those . . . more often than not then you put yourself in the position to have things go your way,’’ Slack said.

‘‘If we do that then I think we can come away with the result.’’

Southland is at the top of the standings, having won two matches in a row and is in a good position before the clash at Centennial Park.

Slack said it was a massive game for North Otago, which was third on the standings.

‘‘I’m expecting a very, very tough game. We’ve trained really well throughout the week — the guys are ready for it.’’

North Otago comes into the game after a 11-run win against South Canterbury last month when Jeremy Smith took an outstanding 13 for 52.

North Otago looked to be in trouble early in that match, scoring 79 in its first innings, but fought to get back in the match, and the team took plenty of heart from that performance, he said.

‘‘We know we can sort of come back from any situation. We know a couple of balls can change the outcome of a game potentially.

‘‘If you can just keep in the fight things can fall your way, so we’ve just got to make sure we do that for the whole game.’’

North Otago’s line-up has been bolstered by the inclusion of Llew Johnson and Stephan Grobler this week. Johnson has spent the past two months playing for the Otago Volts, and was due to travel to Oamaru today, while Grobler received the call up after being unavailable against South Canterbury.

Both were ‘‘big inclusions’’ for the team and brought experience both with the bat and the ball.

North Otago was looking forward to hosting another home match this season, and Slack encouraged people to come along and match.

The game starts at 10.30am. Under Red traffic light restrictions, vaccine passes are required.

OTAGO SPARKS

Rain nearly threatened to ruin both of the Otago Spark’s matches in Oamaru last weekend.

Last Saturday’s match between the Sparks and the Wellington Blaze was called off after Centennial Park was too wet following the previous night’s bad weather.

It looked to be a similar story on Sunday but the Sparks and Blaze managed to push on, playing the Hallyburton Johnston Shield match, limited to 33-overs each.

The Blaze batted and posted 159 for seven through opening batter Jessica McFadyen’s (76 not out) and Georgia Plimmer’s (38). Sparks bowler Saffron Wilson picked up three wickets and spinner Eden Carson was economical in taking two for 28.

The Sparks struggled to find rhythm with the bat. Captain Kate Ebrahim was top scorer
(31), followed by Olivia Gain’s (20) but the Sparks fell short by 49 runs, finishing all out for 110.

Sparks bowler Molly Loe, of Weston, who is recovering from a back injury, was on the sideline supporting her team.

BORTON CUP

Cricket just cannot catch a break this season.

The opening 2022 Borton Cup matches were washed out last Saturday — the third round this season to be abandoned due to weather. The Dick Hunt twenty20 competition also had one match abandoned, and the catch-up match for that round also ended up being washed out.

There are five rounds left in the Borton Cup before semifinals next month and, if the rain continues, points accumulated at the start of the season will be vital in the bid for top positions.

Tomorrow, Glenavy hosts Waitaki Boys’ High School, St Kevin’s College plays Oamaru and Union takes on Valley. Albion has the bye.

All teams will be without their Hawke Cup representative players.