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North Otago lost 10 wickets for 41 runs to once again lose the Hawke Cup in its first defence.
The side had a rough day on Saturday and ended up losing by an innings and 52 runs to Hawke’s Bay in Oamaru.
North Otago had scored 145 on Friday and Hawke’s Bay was two runs ahead at the end of the day with six wickets in hand.
The visiting side pushed on with the bat on Saturday and captain Angus Schaw led the way. Batting at seven, he ended up on 129. He hit three sixes and 17 fours, as Hawke’s Bay ended up on 317. If North Otago has been able to get rid of Schaw earlier it would have been in the match but he hung around and guided his side into a strong position.
North Otago was 172 runs behind when it started batting again but openers Stephan Grobler and Jeremiah Shields pushed through to 79 without loss.
But Shields was dismissed for 40 and Grobler went a run later for 37, which started a collapse for North Otago.
Wickets fell in clumps as the home side lost 10 wickets in just over 17 overs.
Ben Donkers had a pair as North Otago fell away quickly.
It was a disappointing way to finish the season for the home side which could not stop the rot.
Spinner Todd Watson finished with four for 23 off his seven overs, while occasional Central Stags seamer Liam Dudding took three tailend wickets in a single over as the challengers closed in for the kill.
North Otago was bewildered as to how it had all happened but nothing could stop Hawke’s Bay.
North Otago has now won the Hawke Cup four times and lost it in the first challenge every time.
North Otago though should not be too down on itself as it had done well to win the Cup off Nelson.
With just seven senior teams, it is dwarfed by the likes of Hawke’s Bay and Bay of Plenty.
Hawke’s Bay will now return to Napier to host zone one challenger Hamilton at Nelson Park, in Napier, in the final challenge match of the season. The game will be played from March 12-14.