Clubs need a radical levelling of player strengths

2008-11-03 00:00

THE spate of massive victories in KZN Inland Premier League club cricket matches continued on Sunday with winning teams making a mockery of these so-called contests.

Zingari, fifth on the log, needed 52 overs in all — that’s less than four hours of actual cricket — to thrash Ladysmith hopefuls K&L by eight wickets. The home side were dismissed for 107 in 32 overs with Andrew Tweedie taking six for 40 and George Bronkhorst three for 28. Zingari needed a paltry 20 overs to reach the target, with the in-form Tim Drummond hitting 55.

Orientals survived for 50-odd overs against Varsity. Stylish Zimbabwean opening batsman Tafadzwa Chihota maintained his good form with an unbeaten half-century, and big-hitting Glen Addicott added the finishing touches in a 27-over romp for Varsity’s nine-wicket victory.

Log leaders Standard were even more devastating, needing a ridiculously easy 17 overs to reach Young Natalians’ meagre total after Morne van Vuuren and Alan Briscoe had blasted out their batsmen.

And to cap it all in a weekend of mismatches that can do the province’s cricket more harm than good, Lancashire went on a run spree against Northern Districts of Newcastle in a 112-run demolition job.

A radical new system has to be devised, a sharing of player strength between clubs that both must buy into for their own good, for there is no point in highly talented young cricketers romping around against keen but clearly outclassed players.

And if you think this is an exaggeration, consider the following statistic: the bottom four clubs on the nine-team log (see below) have only five log points from a collective total of 17 league matches.

Why bother to play club cricket if you are being hammered like this every second match? Surely the point of amateur cricket is to enjoy it?

The solution? By all means practise with your club-mates during the week, but get the Inland selectors to choose equal-strength teams for the weekend matches. The alternative is that increasing numbers of players are going to choose more enjoyable weekend leisure options.

SCORES IN BRIEF:

Orientals 137/10 in 52.5 overs (G Stone 40, S Dorasamy 37, M Kretzmann 8.3-5-17-3, M Gravitt 14-4-34-3) Varsity 140/1 in 26.5 overs (T Chihota 53*, G Addicott 46*, R McMillan 30). Varsity won by 9 wickets.

Young Natalians 83/10 in 42 overs (M Van Vuuren 7-2-9-4, A Briscoe 9-2-17-3) Standard 84/2 in 16.3 overs (B Jones 29*, K Nipper 29, B Bragg 19*). Standard won by 8 wickets.

K&L 107/10 in 32 overs (A Tweedie 14-4-40-6, G Bronkhorst 10-1-28-3). Zingari 108/2 in 20 overs (T Drummond 55). Zingari won by 8 wickets.

Lancashire 281/6 declared in 51 overs (R Patricks 80, D van der Merwe 73, G Basson 32*) Northern Districts 169/10 in 36 overs (S Middleton 8-1-26-5). Lancashire won by 112 runs.

Log (matches in brackets): 1 Standard (5) 34 points; 2 Midlands (4) 25 pts; 3 Varsity (4) 25 pts; 4 Lancashire (4) 22 pts; 5 Zingari (4) 20 pts; 6 Northern Districts (3) 3 pts; 7 K&L (4) 2 pts; 8 Young Natalians (5) 0 pts; 9 Orientals (5) 0 pts.

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