CRICKET: Tough challenge for Inland in KZN women’s cricket derby

2010-01-22 00:00

THE KwaZulu-Natal Inland women’s cricket team have a stiff assignment at the Pieter-maritzburg Oval tomorrow when they take on unbeaten­ neighbours KwaZulu-Natal Coastal in a Women’s­ Provincial League central region match.

Inland coach Paul Atkins, who has just been appointed manager of coaching in the province, has his feet on the ground when looking ahead to the game.

“You have to be realistic. Coastal are one of the best teams in the country,” he said. “If we can put in a good performance it shows that we are moving forward, just like we have done against Free State.

“In Maritzburg early in the season, Free State got us out for 50 and we lost by something like eight wickets,” Atkins said. “Two weeks ago, we were unlucky to go down by two wickets to them when we travelled to Bloemfontein.”

Unfortunately, Inland will be without one of their key players against the powerful Coastal line-up.

“We felt [that] we couldn’t stand in Pippa’s way, as this is another great opportunity for her,” Atkins said of all-rounder Pippa Payne’s unavailability due to a South Africa indoor cricket national training camp that she is attending in Johannesburg this weekend.

Inland captain and all-rounder Cherri Cannon, who has been in very good form, will need back-up from every single one of her team-mates tomorrow. So the likes of Steph Bender, Yuvi Nirghen and Gugu Ngcobo­ all have an important role to play if coach Atkins is going to see the continuance of the steady improvement that his side have been showing.

Inland have three wins under their belt this season, comprehensively at home and away to Griquas, as well as a one-wicket victory­ over North West in Potchefstroom.

Captain Denisha Devnarain’s Coastal team, unbeaten after six games, have prolific SA wicketkeeper-batter Trisha Chetty in their midst, along with Nikita Sole, Nadine Moodley and devastating bowler Chloe Tyronne­, who took a combined eight for 33 in the routing of Free State and Griquas a fortnight ago.

Success in sport cannot always be measured on an all-or-nothing basis, and further progress along the learning curve tomorrow will make the daunting outing well worth their while.

The 50-over KZN derby starts at 9 am at the Pietermaritzburg Oval and is Inland’s penultimate­ match before their season closes­ with the return match against North West on February 14.

In KZN Inland Premier 45 action on Sunday, captain Gareth Brown’s Zingari face Young Natalians at the Oval, while the pick of the pair is the tussle at Wanderers Club’s SCG, where Standard host Lancashire of Woodlands.

Meanwhile, KZN Coastal Premier 60 log leaders Berea Rovers are 15 points ahead of the chasing pack — the nearest rivals DHS Rhythm, Crusaders, Chatsworth Sporting and Delta, who are all within two points of each other.

Although they were shocked by third-last Pinetown last Sunday, high-riding Saders have a game in hand — against second-last Tertiary — as the second round begins in earnest.

The eventual Premier 60 winners could emerge from any one of the top five.

KWAZULU-NATAL WOMEN’S TEAMS

Inland: Cherri Cannon (captain), Marlene Steenkamp, Natalie Archer, Gugu Ngcobo, Yuvi Nirghen, Avril Forbes, Bianca Sakoor, Steph Bender­, Sarena Ferreira, Natasha Botha and Phumela Ndlovu.

Coastal: Trisha Chetty, Denisha Devnarain (captain), Nadine Moodley, Nikita Sole, Nirvasha Ramnath, Hayleigh Wheeler, Chloe Tyronne, Prudence Gcabashe, Nicole Nel, Rasika Maharaj, Kayleigh Tapp and Dheyanka Naidoo. Coach: Horatius Sokhanyile.

Sunday — KZN Inland Premier 45: Zingari vs Young Natalians (PMB Oval); Standard vs Lancashire (Wanderers).

KWAZULU-NATAL COASTAL SCORES IN BRIEF

Premier 60: African Warriors 211/9 (V. Xulu 90, S. Maharaj 47, T. Pillay 6-71). Chatsworth United 212/7 (N. Mahomed 95*, K. Siphali 54). United won by three wickets.

Tertiary 159 (D. Horsfall 3-40). Berea Rovers 162/3 (W. Madsen 43, S.J. Erwee 62*). Rovers won by seven wickets.

Delta 112 (M. Bekker 68, M. Khan 4-22). Chatsworth Sporting 58 (J. Fowler 5-12). Delta won by 55 runs.

Crusaders 118 (T. Henderson 4-33). Pinetown 120/6 (M. Miller 39). Pinetown won by three wickets.

Topham 83 (R. Reeves 8-15). DHS Rhythm 85/5 (A. Razak 30). DHS won by five wickets.

Women’s League: Warriors 40 (N. Ramnarain 4-9). Umzinto 43/0 (C. Tyron 31*). Umzinto won by 10 wickets.

Chatsworth 145/5 (V. Maharaj 40, C. Pillay 3-18). Rovers 32/8 (K. Singh 3-17, V. Maharaj 3-7). Chatsworth won by 113 runs.

Simplex RHCSC 250/5 (P. Govender 72). Collegians 20 (D. Naidoo 3-2, A. Mahabeer 5-2). Simplex won by 230 runs.

Hillary Malvern beat Verulam by 10 wickets (no scores available).

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