E. province favourites against inland

2011-11-17 00:00

THE KwaZulu-Natal Inland cricket team have considerable ground to make up when they host Eastern Province at the Maritzburg Oval from today to Sunday.

The Provincial Three-Day Challenge match is followed by Sunday’s T20 bash, and despite their visitor status, EP go in as favourites.

EP lie in eighth position in the three-day competition, while Inland are propping up the 14-team log table. EP top the T20 Coastal Stream with four wins from four outings, while Inland are second-last, having collected “no-result” points after both of their T20 clashes were rained out.

Inland head coach Anton Roux has made a number of changes to the side that were obliterated in the three-day home debacle against double champs Western Province last time out. In their other three-dayer, Inland were beaten by home side and log leaders South Western Districts.

The Inland squad have had just about a month to regroup and, aside from club matches, have played several friendlies. Roux said he has worked hard with the bowlers and, barring Maritzburg College and SA U19 all-rounder Calvin Savage (matric exams), he just about has his strongest available line-up.

“The guys are reasonably confident, mainly because of the work they have put in in the last month, but the first two days will be crucial with regard to getting a few good sessions under the belt to give them the boost they need,” Roux told The Witness yesterday.

Coach Christo Esau’s EP side is a strong one that includes former SA fast bowler Monde Zondeki.

It all makes for some absorbing cricket over the next four days.

TEAMS

KZN Inland (3-Day): Devon Conway, Divan van Wyk, Nabeel Bhayla, Glen Addicott, Stephan Myburgh, Kyle Nipper (capt), Rudi Hillerman, Brady Barends, Kimeshan Chetty, Athi Maposa, Tabraiz Shamsi, Mzamo Cele. (T20): Mbasa Gqadushe, Faheem Suleman and Keegan Daniels come in for Bhayla, Maposa and Cele.

Eastern Province: Michael Smith (capt), Colin Ackermann, Warren Bell, Sizwe Masondo, Michael Price, James Price, Kelly Smuts, Lionel Vaaltyn, Basheer Walters, David White, Reece Williams, Monde Zondeki.

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