Southland Cricket a Step Closer to Bringing Hawke Cup Home
The current Southland team are just one solid day of cricket away from writing their names into Southland cricketing folklore.
On day two on Saturday Southland completed another good day in the three-day Hawke Cup challenge fixture to put themselves in the box seat against holders Counties Manukau in Manurewa.
Southland last held the Hawke Cup, which is contested between New Zealand Cricket’s minor-associations, in 1992 and they are on a quest in South Auckland to end a 26-year drought for the province.
All up Southland has won the Hawke Cup on six occasions which included being the first team to lift the prized trophy when it was played for in 1911.
Southland began day two on Saturday against Counties Manukau at 69-2. The first assignment was to knock off the 70 more runs needed to pass Counties Manukau’s first innings total of 138.
They did just that with the loss of five wickets before Hamish Skelt (58) and wicketkeeper-batsman Amarpreet Singh (43) when about building a handy first innings lead for Southland.
Southland were bowled out for 222 which gave them a substantial 84-run first innings lead in the context of the low-scoring game.
The Southland bowlers continued the dominant challenge as they reduced Counties to 72-4 at stumps on day two.
Jason Osborne picked up the first wicket to fall, Jason Domigan chipped in with two wickets, and there was also a run out chucked in for good measure.
It means Counties head into the final day’s play still trailing by 12 runs and with six wickets remaining in their second innings.
Southland just need first innings honours in a drawn match to claim the Hawke Cup, so they now hold all the trump cards heading into the third and final day on Sunday.
First, the bowlers need to ensure the Counties Manukau middle-to-lower order don’t rack up any quick runs to build a lead. Then the Southland batsmen will have to bunker down at the crease to quash Counties’ hopes of the outright victory they now need to retain the Cup.
Tick those boxes and the Hawke Cup will head back to Southland for the first time since 1992 setting up what would be a day to remember for the Southland Cricket Association on Sunday.
DAY 2 – SHORT SCOREBOARD
Southland 222 all out (H Skelt 53, A Singh 43, J McKenzie 31, J Ng 24, S Fitzgibbon 18, A Tait 18; S Johnson 27.1-10-56-8), Counties Manukau 138 all out (R Somani 45, R Phizackerley 23, K Clarke 20; A Tait 12-3-32-3, 14.1-4-24-2, B Lockrose 12-5-24-2, J Mockford 9-2-14-1, J Domigan 8-1-21-1, J Ng 9-4-23-1) & 72-4 (T Payle 16, S Varcoe 14; J Domigan 9-3-12-2, 2-0-4-0).