Southland win zone
By Terry O'Neil on Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Southland 156 ( H.J. Visavidaya 46, J.M. Domigan 23, J.L. Osborne 20, F. Mostert 6-63, N.G. Smith 2-35 ) & 122 ( J.M. Domigan 26, J.L. Osborne 20, N.G. Smith 5-32, F. Mostert 4-48 )
North Otago 136 ( L.C. Kingan 30, N.G. Smith 21, B.C. Cant 20, J.A. Duffy 5-37, B.N.J. Lockrose 2-33 ) & 118-9 ( J.B. Smith 33, L.C. Johnson 22, B.N.J. Lockrose 3-29, J.L. Osborne 2-28 )
First innings win to Southland
Scorecard for the match

Southland won the right to be the Zone four challenger for the Hawke Cup currently held by Counties-Manukau when it beat North Otago in Oamaru over the weekend after both sides went into the game tied on thirty two points. But it was a real struggle.

North Otago was given the task of scoring 143 runs in nineteen overs in its second innings but Southland established a circular defensive pattern with fielders posted  around the boundary. It worked as North Otago needing 143 runs in nineteen overs was restricted to 118 for eight wickets, with Jeremy Smith top scoring with thirty three invaluable runs. Bowling for Southland  Jason Osborne took two for 28 and Ben Lockrose, three for 29.

Heavy rain delayed the start of the zone four  elimination game between the two top teams, Southland and North Otago. North Otago's Craig Smith won the toss and put Southland in to bat at Whitestone stadium, a decision that favoured North Otago as Southland slumped to thirty two for three as Hamish Kelt(7), Venkat Kotte(9) and Jared McKenzie(7) were dismissed by Craig Smith and Francois Mostert(two) claiming the wickets. Mostert who took thirteen wickets the previous weekend against Mid Canterbury continued with his aggressive approach finishing the innings with six for sixty three off twenty four overs. Harsh Visavadiya(46) solidified the innings after losing Shaun Fitzgibbon without scoring. Jason Domigan(23), Amarpreet Singh(12) and Jason Osborne(20) gave the innings a smattering of respectability with the final wicket falling at 156.Craig Smith off sixteen overs took one for thirty nine and Nathan Smith, two for thirty five in addition to dismissing Singh  with a brilliant catch after racing forty metres on the on side to take the ball.

North Otago lost opener Duncan Drew(5) early and the Southland attack guided by Jacob Duffy had North Otago staggering at stumps on the first day at eighty  for five, needing seventy seven further runs to take the important first innings points. Duffy was to the fore taking three wickets with only Lachie Kingan(30) and Ben Cant(20) showing any stickability.

On the second day only eleven balls were bowled by Southland before the umpires decided that the heavy dew was affecting play with North Otago eighty five for five .

Southlands Jacob Duffy was the workhorse of the Southland attack bowling twenty three overs and taking five for thirty two. It was a tight innings with sixty four overs and three bowls bowled while North Otago grinded on in its chase for the vital runs before the last two wickets fell with the North Otago total at 136, twenty one runs short of the first innings lead. Lachie Kingan(30), Ben Cant(20), Nathan Smith(21) and Regan George(12) reached double figures and the tight Southland attack  conceded just seven fours in the innings.

North Otago struck back in Southlands second innings and went to tea on the final day with Southland eighty seven for two, an overall lead of 107 runs with thirty six overs remaining in the game. Nathan Smith knocked the top off the Southland second innings taking the first four wickets of Skelt(0), McKenzie(110, VKC Kotto(0), HJ Visavidaya(4) plus the sixth wicket to fall, that of Shaun Fitzgibbon(11) and added his sixth with the dismissal of Jason Osborne(20).

Southland was dismissed for 122 giving North Otago the task of scoring 143 runs in just nineteen overs.


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