Southland batsmen take charge

Southland has found its batting mojo.

Hawke Cup holder  Southland produced one of its most commanding batting displays for some time in its southern zone Hawke Cup game against Mid Canterbury at the weekend.

Southland captain Shaun Fitzgibbon won the toss and elected to bat first at Queens Park in Invercargill.

It was Fitzgibbon who laid the platform in what was a memorable day of batting for Southland. He produced a patient 95 from 215 balls before being given out lbw.

Encouragingly, he found support from Ryan Duffy who was making a return to cricket after a season away from  the game.

Duffy scored 46, highlighting he has taken little time to get back into the batting groove.

When Fitzgibbon departed  at 269 for six, Southland was already in a strong position. But it was wicketkeeper-batsman Amarpreet Singh who took Southland’s innings to the next level.

The destructive Singh took a liking to the Mid Canterbury bowling attack as he went about racking up an impressive 130-run knock which came from 118 balls and included 18 fours and four sixes.

Singh’s heroics pushed Southland through to 391 for eight at stumps on Saturday evening.However, in a sign there is a ruthless edge to the Southland team, the batting onslaught continued yesterday when play started following a rain delay.

Coming in at No10, Jason Osborne put together a brisk half century from just 24 balls and finished 61 not out from 32 balls.

He  combined in an unbeaten 79-run ninth-wicket stand with Jason Domigan.

Domigan was unbeaten on 50 when Southland finally declared at a whopping 472 for eight from 119 overs of batting.

The marathon  innings was ideal preparation as  Southland  prepares to defend the Hawke Cup when the first defence rolls around in February.

The weekend was all about the Southland batsmen’s deeds, although the bowlers did get an opportunity to have a crack late yesterday.

They sent down 65 overs  by the time stumps were pulled yesterday evening.  At that point Mid Canterbury was 212 for six,  so the result was a draw. 

- Logan Savory

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