31 Jan 2016

Buller claims Hawke Cup

9:26 pm on 31 January 2016

One of New Zealand Cricket's oldest trophies has been won by its smallest provincial union in perhaps the biggest upset in the 106-year history of the competition.

The Buller team with the Hawke Cup.

The Buller team with the Hawke Cup. Photo: SUPPLIED

In an incredible match that wasn't decided until the last ball, Buller defeated Hawke Cup holders Canterbury Country in Rangiora to claim the silverware for the first time.

Country needed a six of the last ball to win the match and a four to draw and retain the cup, but only a single was managed.

Buller captain Troy Scanlon said he was very proud of the team and it was a fabulous reward for the players and it supporters.

"It is a dream come true... We have had more people here for a Hawke Cup game than they get for a first-class match. It's huge for us."

Canterbury Country executive director Peter Devlin said the match had been a fantastic advertisement for the provincial game, while his side's captain Andrew Robertson said he had never been in a challenge quite like it.

Buller, whose side is selected from four club teams, lost the toss on day one and were put into bat on a green seamer after weather delayed the start.

By the close they were 84/4 off 40 overs.

On day two, with the start again hampered by the weather, wickets fell at a pace.

Buller were quickly dismissed for 120, with Country opening bowler Will Williams finishing with the remarkable figures of 9 for 38 off 22.

Williams' team-mates, however, didn't like the wicket as much and Buller, through captain Troy Scanlon and Michael Anderson, had them teetering at 15 for 5.

Country's tail found some more resolve and when bad light ended play they were 8 for 72. By that stage Scanlon had five wickets.

On day three Clinton Harvey quickly mopped up the country tail.

Buller started their second innings with the aim of batting Country out of the match.

Opening bat Michael Grafton was his side's mainstay, scoring 54 as wickets regularly fell around him.

Buller were finally dismissed after 70 overs with a lead of 187.

Some staunch batting from the tail helped ensure Country had only 27 overs to score the runs.

They started strongly, with Shanan Stewart opening up with 54 before Scanlon had him in front LBW.

Henry Shipley and Andrew Robertson nearly turned the match back Country's way with some cleaning hitting.

With 19 needed off the last over Robertson started by hitting Scanlon over the clubhouse and then for four.

With nine needed off four balls both sides' supporters nervously paced the sideline.

In the end it was Buller's supporters who got to replace it with some jumping for joy.