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Summer game . . . North Otago cricket captain Jeremiah Shields (left) in action for his region last year. PHOTOS: SUPPLIED

Jeremiah Shields’ maiden ton capped a comprehensive first-innings win for North Otago in its Hawke Cup opener against Otago Country in Alexandra.

Batting first on a good surface at Molyneux Park at the weekend, North Otago got away to a good start to be at 205 for five thanks to half-centuries to Jeremy Smith (56) and Stephan Grobler (63).

But when Duncan Drew was run out, and Harry Semple was given lbw soon after, North Otago folded to be all-out for 216 which was slightly under-par.

However, some good bowling, particularly from Grobler (four for 37), Cameron Grubb (two for 51) and Scott Kitto (three for 37), restricted Otago Country to 166.

In North Otago’s second innings, Shields’ 103 not out led his side to 193 for three at stumps on the second day.

“To go away from home and get a first-innings result was a pretty good effort,” Shields said.

He described his 100 as the “icing on the cake” of a good team effort.

It was also the first 50 for the North Otago skipper.

“I’ve always seen my role as taking the shine off the new ball . . . to finally get on and get a decent score was pretty pleasing,” he said.

With Tom Dempster, Mason James and Llew Johnson away for the weekend, there was still plenty of depth in the team.

“The performance we put out in the weekend is going to make the selectors’ job really hard, which is a good problem to have,” Shields said.

“We worked hard for each other. It’s something we are trying to build into the side now.

“Everyone is in a pretty good mood. Hopefully, we can have a break over Christmas and get stuck back into some hard work after.”

The game between Mid Canterbury and South Canterbury was washed out, which means North Otago leads the race for a Hawke Cup challenge.