Champions Standard tackle Zingari at Collegians

2009-10-09 00:00

CLUB cricketers are back in action on Sunday with the start of the KZN Inland Premier60 League. It was due to start last weekend, but due to ground constraints those fixtures had to be postponed.

Zingari host neighbours and reigning champions Standard at Collegians. Standard would have been buoyed by their participation at the National Club Champs and will be hoping to continue with their fine bowling performances.

However, their batsmen who to a large extent disappointed in Pretoria, will need to sharpen up against the Zingari attack. Standard will have to do without inspirational captain Kyle Nipper and in-form talisman Morne van Vuuren — both Inland call-ups for Sunday’s Provincial Challenge 45-over match against KZN Coastal at the Maritzburg Oval — and his older brother Andre van Vuuren, who was in superb form at Club Champs.

Zingari have top-class 21-year-old wicketkeeper/batsman and Inland captain Tim Drummond, as well as provincial opening bowler Richard Hlela, out due to Sunday’s limited-over provincial match.

But such is the nature of the season now, with Inland playing 13 games, that club depth will play a major role in the tussle to determine 2009/10 league champions.

And this is where Standard may have the edge, as a solid programme has been put in place at the champions’ headquarters at Wanderers Club that should be the envy of their rivals.

Last season’s runners-up, Varsity, host Midlands at the Varsity Oval. The campus-based club are scouting for a new coach now that Inland manager of playing affairs Garry Hampson has moved on to mentor the South Western Districts provincial squad.

Varsity will be without strike bowler and hard-hitting batsman Ollie Humphries (hamstring) as well as his provincial team-mates Glen Addicott and new signings Bradley Moses and Mbasa Gqadushe. Varsity might find the going tough against the experienced, Eston-based Midlands side, who have provincial players Mario Oliver and Doug Watson unavailable, but are still able to call on some quality club cricketers.

In their opening matches, Lancs travel to Newcastle to take on the Northern Districts outfit, while Young Natalians take on K&L at Settlers Park in Ladysmith.

FIXTURES

Premier60: Zingari vs Standard (Collegians); Midlands vs Varsity (Varsity Oval); Northern Districts vs Lancashire (Newcastle); K&L vs Young Natalians (Ladysmith).

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