SHARE
To the fence . . . North Otago cricketer Francois Mostert cracks another boundary during his innings of 133 not out against South Canterbury in Timaru on Saturday. PHOTO: NICCI SMITH

Francois Mostert will not be able to match his wicket-taking heroics from last season but he has given a reminder of his class with the bat.
Mostert cracked a second Hawke Cup century, a magnificent 133 not out, to guide North Otago to an imposing 309 for eight declared against South Canterbury in Timaru at the weekend.
He was able to revel in a fine batting performance but had no chance of celebrating a team win as heavy rain forced the game to be abandoned just 2.4 overs into the home side’s reply.
Mostert, who boggled minds with his 56-wicket haul last summer, was quietly satisfied with his ton, which came nearly two years to the day since his marvellous 159 against Mid Canterbury.
“It’s up there, but I’d probably feel a little bit better if I didn’t get dropped three times,” Mostert told the Oamaru Mail.
“By the end, the ball was coming off the bat quite nicely and the runs were flowing.
“It felt very nice. It’s a Hawke Cup hundred, and you’ve got to be happy with that.”
Mostert considers himself a bowler who bats and has not spent any extra time on his batting in recent years. He simply feels that side of his game is more about mental approach, not technique.
It has been well documented that North Otago entered this season a bit light on runs following the departures of Stephan Grobler and Ben Cant, but any Hawke Cup team would be happy with 300.
“I think from a batting point of view, it sort of sets the standard, and reminds us that we can do it,” Mostert said.
“It was always going to be tough against South Canterbury. They’ve got a very good bowling attack. So to get 300 was really nice.
“There was a lot of grass on the wicket, so we weren’t that keen on batting first. The ball was doing a bit for the first hour and a-half, but batting got a little easier after that.”
Partnerships are the key to a big innings, and Mostert got plenty of help as he faced 200 balls and smashed 25 boundaries.
Craig Smith (34) and Jeremy Smith (28) got handy starts, Regan George _ whistled into the team late in the week after Nathan Smith was called away to the Volts _ belted a quick 49, and youngster Blake James showed admirable poise to make 35 off 92 balls, combining with Mostert for a partnership
of 118, breaking the North Otago eighth-wicket record set 56 years ago.
It has been a busy few weeks for Mostert. He played a couple of games for Otago at the national A tournament, helped coach the Otago under-17 team at its national tournament, and found some time to show girlfriend Kristi, a university student from his native South Africa, a few sights around the South
Island.
North Otago’s next Hawke Cup game is in Oamaru against Mid Canterbury on February 11-12.
Southland claimed a first-innings win over Mid Canterbury at the weekend, scoring 184 and dismissing Mid Canterbury for just 68. Mid Canterbury was batting well at 88 without loss in its second innings when rain forced play to be abandoned.
Southland leads the zone with 18 points, ahead of South Canterbury (15), Otago Country (12), North Otago (three) and Mid Canterbury (nought).