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The Christchurch Press Canterbury Country retains cup to end jinx
The Christchurch Press - 6-8 March 1999

Classy centuries from Harley James and Brendon Donkers inspired the Canterbury Country cricket team to break a 32-year hoodoo.

The Country side yesterday completed a first innings win over Dunedin City at Rangiora's Dudley Park to retain the Districts Cup - symbol of supremacy among minor association cricket - for the first time.

James (176) and Donkers (132) cracked on 208 runs for the sixth wicket to steer Country to 497 on Sunday. Dunedin City was bowled out yesterday for 386, sparking celebrations among the Country camp.

``This is the fourth time we've had the cup, but the first time we've defended it,'' Canterbury Country Cricket Association executive director Peter Devlin said.

``It's a good moment for us. It was quite important that we did break that duck.''

Country captain Greg Lewis confirmed ``the boys are pretty happy'' at creating a slice of cricketing history.

He heaped a ton of praise on the batting efforts of Sefton club-mates James and Donkers.

``They came together when we were 189 for five and that's really not good enough on Dudley, which is a good batting track.

``But both Harley and Donks showed some great application and were prepared to bat time.''

James batted for 373min and faced 313 balls. He slammed 21 fours and hit one six. Donkers, who recorded his maiden century, hit 11 fours from 310 balls in 357min at the crease.

Source: The Christchurch Press
Editorial comments can be sent to The Christchurch Press at press@press.co.nz