N.O. looks to secure challenge

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North Otago will entertain Mid Canterbury at Milner Park tomorrow in a Hawke Cup elimination tie.

Despite an outright loss to South Canterbury last weekend, North Otago remains at the summit of the zone’s points table and a first-innings victory this weekend would put Mid Canterbury out of contention and leave South Canterbury needing two outright wins in its remaining fixtures against Southland and Otago Country.

Should North Otago down Mid Canterbury outright, it will be challenging for the Hawke Cup with no other teams able to pass them at the top of the table.

North Otago manager Hamish McMurdo called for a more distinguished batting display following the outright loss to South Canterbury in Timaru.

North Otago posted 171 (all out) in its first innings at Aorangi Park with opener Jeremiah Shields walking for nought before Duncan Drew top-scored with 56 and Bent Cant posted 37.

Sean Conlan also went for a duck before tailenders Jordan Horrell (15) and Chris Ware (24) did their bit to up North Otago’s total.

South Canterbury got off to a fairly pedestrian start with Sam Porter and James Laming posting 4 and 3 respectively.

Prabodha Arthavidu then notched 51 off 49 balls followed by Jacob Naylor’s 48, but the home side was eventually all out for 138.

Ricky Whyte and Ben Cant proved most effective with the ball for North Otago, taking 3 for 20 off 8 overs and 2 for 16 off 7 overs.

North Otago could only muster a less than impressive 100 (all out) in its second innings as Stephan Grobler top-scored with 25.

South Canterbury’s second innings got off to a shaky start as opener Sam Porter’s wicket was taken for nought by David Sewell.

James Laming (32) and Prabodha Arthavidu (38) then set about chasing down North Otago’s total.William Wright (42 not out) and Ben Watson (10 not out) surpassed the visitor’s total with four wickets to spare in the 38th over for the victory.

The team to lock horns with Mid Canterbury had not been selected before the Oamaru Mail went to print yesterday but McMurdo said he was hoping his side’s strong bowling displays would continue.

By James Ford