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Country perform well

Last week saw cricket wickets around North Canterbury host the South Island Primary Cricket Tournament featuring 14 teams, including two Canterbury Country teams, over five days. Matches were played in Rangiora at both Dudley Park and Southbrook Park, also Mandeville, Sefton, and Kaiapoi. The weather was good for much of the tournament, but it is a credit to the cricketing volunteers around the district, preparing the large number of quality pitches.

In the initial rounds the Country Red team had a slow start with losses to Otago Country and Mid Canterbury, but then won their next four on the trot, against Country White, Buller, Christchurch Red, and Invercargill Metro. This put them into the top section where they lost to Christchurch Black and South Canterbury, to finish fourth overall. Otago Country were the winners of the Sir Jack Newman Trophy.

Country White defeated Nelson, Southland Country and Mid Canterbury, and had defeats to Country Red, Christchurch Red, and Christchurch Black. They were in the 5th-8th group and defeated Dunedin first up, but lost to Christchurch Red, to finish 6th. Christchurch Red won the group and the Derek Cockburn Trophy.

Southland Country were the winners of the Neville Hoskin Trophy for the bottom group.

There were a number of individual good performances from Country players across the tournament. Gus Wiseman reached 25 runs or more on four occasions, with a top score of 69. Austin Earl also passed the 25 run mark three times, and also took a three wicket bag. Max Wood achieved 31 runs twice, and a three wicket bag too. Other batsman to score 25 or more runs were Henry Pratt, Jack Kelly, Jasper Welford, Sean Cresswell, and Sebasitan Pienaar. Pienaar also picked up a three wicket bag, as did Aroon Deb and Joseph Whalley.

Canterbury Country were also hosting a second tier competition in Ellesmere to give more players opportunities to play representative and tournament cricket. Canterbury Country had six teams playing in the Shield competition, and they all gained good experience across the tournament.

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