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North Otago took first-innings Hawke Cup points in the zone four game against Otago Country at Molyneux Park over the weekend.
The most notable individual performance came from North Otago captain Jeremiah Shield who finished with 103 not out, including 15 fours, as North Otago went to 193 for three in its second innings.
North Otago won the toss on Saturday morning and decided to bat but, on a flattish pitch, lost Jeremiah Shields (22), Lachie Kingan (20) and Scott Kitto (six) with only 48 runs on the board before Jeremy Smith (56) and Stephan Grobler (63) featured in a fourth-wicket stand of 112 runs.
Smith’s dismissal was followed by Grobler (63) 11 runs later. The last five North Otago wickets fell for 45 runs as the innings ended at 216 with only Harry Semple (22) showing any defiance.
The Otago Country bowling was tight, Tim McCormick (two for 21 off 15 overs) and Barry White (one for 44 off 20 overs) maintaining pressure with the ball.
At stumps on the first day, Otago Country was 113 runs in arrears losing the wickets of Sam Pimm (two), Taylor Cumberland (three) and Steve Hobson (37).
Sukhdev Singh (31 not out) and Sam Bastin (eight not out) saw the home side through to 83 for three at stumps, Cameron Grubb claiming the wickets of openers Pimm and Cumberland .
Hodson and Sukhdev Singh (31 not out) earlier featured in a third-wicket stand of 76 .
On the second day, Hodson went with the total at 91 and North Otago struck back as Scott Kitto claimed the wickets of Bastin (18), Tim McCormick (nought) and Kyle Paterson (nought),
Grobler got into the act dismissing opener Singh (56) as Otago Country slumped to 121 for seven in the first 90 minutes on the second day.
Otago Country was finally dismissed for 166 giving North Otago a lead of 50 runs.
North Otago went to lunch at 23 without loss, an overall lead of 73 runs with 10 wickets in hand.
When rain stopped play yesterday, North Otago had established a lead of one 168 runs with nine wickets in hand.
Shield was on 63 and Scott Kitto was on 24. Kingan lost his wicket on 28.
- Terry O'Neill