North Otago battling in defence of cup

North Otago is well and truly on the back foot of the first day of its opening Hawke Cup defence in Oamaru.

North Otago managed to score just 145 after it had been sent in by opponent Hawke’s Bay, at Centennial Park.

In reply at stumps on the first day, Hawke’s Bay was 147 for four wickets, a lead of just two runs.

North Otago only had itself to blame for its small total, as many of its batsman got starts but could not go on with the job. Six of the North Otago batsmen got into double figures but Llew Johnson was the highest score with 28. There was no partnership of note and the side lost three wickets for 11 runs in the middle order and slumped to be 75 for five wickets.

Jeremy Smith and captain Lachlan Kingan tried to get the innings back on track but they also went after getting a start.

The wickets were shared around by the Hawke’s Bay bowlers. Liam Dudding, Ben Stayanoff and Brad Schmulian took three each. North Otago faced 58.3 overs.

Hawke’s Bay made a relatively brisk reply and got to 35 inside seven overs before it lost wicketkeeper Bailey Wiggins. He was dismissed by Ben Donkers, who then took the wicket of fellow opener Matt Edmondson.

But former Central Districts player Schmulian was steady at number four for Hawke’s Bay and found a willing partner in Izaiah Lange.

Together the pair added 80 runs.

Lange was out for 39 but Schmulian was unbeaten at the end on a patient 52.

The visiting team will look to put some distance between it and North Otago today while North Otago will look for some quick wickets.

A first innings win will suffice for Hawke’s Bay, so North Otago will look to get some early wickets and make some significant runs later in the day to keep the contest alive.

North Otago has never had a successful defence after holding the Hawke Cup three times.

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