Coun­try fal­ters in first in­nings


Los­ing the toss proved costly for Can­ter­bury Coun­try in their Hawke Cup Chal­lenge against Coun­ties Manukau in Auck­land.

Turn­ing up to Wey­mouth Oval to find damp spots on the pitch forc­ing a de­layed start it was a cru­cial toss which the hosts won.

Coun­try were rolled for just 66 in the dif­fi­cult bat­ting con­di­tions and, as the pitch dried out dur­ing the af­ter­noon, the hosts were able to have first in­nings points by the close of the day.

It was an up­hill bat­tle from there for Coun­try with Coun­ties Manuka in the box seat, able to hold out for a draw to keep the cup.

‘‘We should have bat­ted bet­ter than that but the con­di­tions didn’t help,’’ Coun­try coach Sharpe said.

‘‘From all out for 66 we did well to fight back and take the game into the last hour on day three but the dam­age was done.’’

Af­ter be­ing sent into bat Coun­try were in im­me­di­ate trou­ble at 32/3 at lunch af­ter 21 overs.

Tim Grui­jters dug in but he was the sev­enth man out for 22 leav­ing Coun­try reel­ing at 59/7.

The fi­nal three wick­ets fell for six runs with Coun­try all out for a pal­try 66 in 47.3 overs.

San­deep Pa­tel had 3/12 while Scott John­ston had fin­ished off the tail for 4/12

Coun­ties Manukau also lost early wick­ets to be 13/2 then 29/3, but Nick Kelly and Luke Wil­liamson com­bined to get the host through to 72/3 at stumps for the first in­nings points and a lead of six.

Kelly was even­tu­ally out for 69 and with Pa­tel mak­ing 58 the hosts posted 205, a lead of 139.

Henry Ship­ley had 4/20 with two wick­ets from Will Wil­liams (2/43) and Jeremy Ben­ton (2/37).

Coun­try needed to erase the deficit and rack up a to­tal their bowlers could work with.

Jack Boyle made a pa­tient 57 at the top of the or­der be­fore Shanan Ste­wart took charge with a blaz­ing cen­tury.

Ste­wart made 137 off 165 balls, shar­ing a 123-run stand with Will Wil­liams, who fin­ished un­beaten on 47 off 42 balls.

Coun­try de­clared at 314/3 af­ter 81 overs, a lead of 175 with 54 overs left in the day.

Two early wick­ets had Coun­try in with a sniff but ul­ti­mately Coun­ties Manukau shut up shop and bat­ted out the day, fin­ish­ing 77/2 for the draw to keep the cup.

Coun­ties Manukau takes on South­land in the fi­nal chal­lenge of the sum­mer.


Coun­ties Manukau bats­man San­deep Pa­tel squeezes the past Can­ter­bury Coun­try’s Ben Hart­land

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