Country collapses in run-chase

Otago Country crumbled in its chase for outright points in a sensational batting collapse against Mid Canterbury on the second day of their Zone 4 Hawke Cup Elimination game.

Chasing 143 for the win and a crack at a challenge against holder Southland, Otago Country folded to be all out for 36. Medium-pace bowler Richard Turpie took eight wickets for 13 runs, including four  in his fourth over, with

a hat-trick among them.

His match figures were 23 overs, 11  for 39.  The home side won the toss at the Ashburton Domain and chose to bat after play was delayed an hour due to  drizzle. Nobody could have predicted the calamity that would follow when 23 wickets fell in 79.2 overs. First, Mid-Canterbury were dismissed for 64.  Otago Country  struggled to a 19-run lead, reaching 83, then had the home side 38 for three at stumps.

It took  Otago Country  little more than an hour to have the home side at 22 for eight wickets in the first innings, before a 40-run eighth-wicket partnership pulled the home side to 64. Tom Myles (3/7), Bailey Andrews-Kennedy (3/18), Sam Blakely (2/35) and Kevin Loggenberg (2/1) bowled a nice line and length and reaped reward.

In turn, the visitors were at one stage  seven down with only 55 on the board. Cameron Jackson  made  40, helping the Country lads through to 83. Richard Turpie and Alex Hooper had identical figures of three for 26. At stumps Mid Canterbury had a 19-run lead at 38 for three.

The home team was dismissed on the stroke of lunchtime on day two for 161,  debutant Angus Redfern top scoring with 64. Blakely (2/10), Myles (2/24), Loggenberg (2/36) and Andrews-Kennedy (2/48) did the damage. Otago Country was left with 143 runs to achieve an outright win, with 76 overs minimum to achieve the target, and was four without loss when rain arrived at 1.50pm. But the weather only served to delay the rout. When play resumed the Turpie show got into gear and 16.4 overs later it was all over.   The home side took  12 points for the win but Otago Country retained the competition lead with its eight first innings points. 

- Malcolm Jones

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