North Otago gunning for glory

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North Otago will begin its quest to win the Hawke Cup for the second time, against Canterbury Country at MainPower Oval in Rangiora today.

North Otago claimed the Hawke Cup for the first time in 2010 with a 159-run win over Manawatu in Palmerston North.

Set 311 to win in 58 overs, Manawatu collapsed for just 151 in its second innings and North Otago celebrated as history was made.

North Otago clinched this year’s challenge with a first-innings win over Mid Canterbury in late January.

The contest was crucial, with an outright win needed to guarantee the challenge.

While that was not achieved, enough was done to gain first-innings points, and as old enemy South Canterbury, the only team that could pass North Otago, failed to gain an outright win over Otago Country, North Otago reached the promised land.

Today’s opponent, Canterbury Country, lifted the Hawke Cup following a first-innings victory against Manawatu in Palmerston North a fortnight ago.

Country’s first innings tally of 317 proved too tall an order for the home side, which was dismissed for 178, for a healthy first-innings lead of 139.

Despite a poor start, Canterbury Country pushed on to 182 for six, and an overall advantage of 321 when play was called off mid-afternoon.

The match can be followed on blackcaps.co.nz

By James Ford

PHOTO: BRAYDEN LINDSAY – The North Otago Hawke Cup squad and management prepare to leave for the side’s Hawke Cup challenge against Canterbury Country in Rangiora, starting today. Back from left: Duncan Drew, Sean Conlan, Jeremy Smith, Lachlan Kingan, Ben Cant, Jeremiah Shields, Gordon McFarlane (scorer), Francois Mostert, Scott Cameron (photographer).
Front: Hamish McMurdo (manager), Glynn Cameron, Nathan Smith, Brady Kingan, Ricky Whyte and Stephan Grobler. Captain Jordan Horrell was meeting the side in Christchurch.