First innings win for Country

Otago Country earned a first innings win against Southland in their Hawke Cup match in Alexandra over the weekend.

On Saturday morning Otago Country won the toss and chose to bat at Molyneux Park.

A minute’s silence before play acknowledged the death of Otago Country’s patron, life member and friend Stewart McKnight. Stewart died on the bowling green in Ranfurly earlier this year.

The locals then got to 314 before being bowled out in their 80th over. Sukhdev Singh scored a patient 92 with support from an equally controlled Mitchell van Schaik (38). Further down the order three batsmen scored their runs at quicker than a run a ball; Amrit Gossal 43, Marcus Frost 44 and Sam Blakely 33.

Southland bowlers Kieran Lloyd, Kurt Thompson and Jack Mockford took three wickets each.

Southland had some awkward overs to get through before ending day one on 14-1, with captain Jared McKenzie at the crease.

McKenzie and Brendon Domigan (25) put together a 66-run partnership when the game resumed yesterday.

The classy teenager Benji Culhane (35) then looked comfortable before being trapped lbw by Singh. Southland’s hopes rested on McKenzie, who bought up his century before lunch.

Soon after lunch though Michael Goldstein took the wicket of McKenzie (114) and Swaran Sandhu took two wickets the following over to leave Southland reeling.

Sam Blakely took the final wicket of Hamish Skelt (19) to finish with three for 46.

With a lead of 91, the locals batted for four overs before time was called on the match.

 - John Langford

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