Inland beat Gauteng comfortably to prove they’re the best side in SA

2014-04-07 00:00

KWAZULU-Natal Inland proved that they were the best provincial limited overs cricket side in the country by comfortably beating Gauteng in the final of the CSA Provincial T20 Challenge at the Wanderers.

The Pietermaritzburg-based outfit finished their impressive year on a high as they claimed their second trophy of the season.

Grant Morgan’s side were earlier this season crowned as champions in the 50-over format of the game.

The final between the two sides was set up after both teams had finished at the top of their respective pools, losing just one game each out of six.

Although both sides were equally matched ahead of the final, Morgan’s boys managed to win comfortably.

Having won the toss, skipper Shane Burger sent Gauteng in to bat, and they were rewarded in the fourth over when the free-scoring Yassar Cook was caught behind by wicketkeeper Abram Ndhlovu off the bowling Craig Alexander for 19 off just 18 balls.

Dominic Hendricks went for three, Malcolm Nofal was out for nine, and Gauteng skipper Wesley Landsdale for eight contributed to a top-order collapse that saw Gauteng in trouble at 50/4 in the ninth over.

Brian Barnard (25), Bradley Dial (18) and Richard das Neves (22 not out) looked to pick things up for the homeside, but wickets kept on falling. By the end of their 20 overs, Gauteng could only manage a total of 128/7.

In their chase, Inland started solidly with the ever reliable Sarel Erwee and Tyler Lortan putting on 56 runs for the first wicket before the former was dismissed for 35 off 18 balls.

Matt Hulett played a cameo of 17 off 21 before being dismissed by Thamsanqa Rapelego.

Kyle Nipper then joined Lortan in the middle, and they saw Inland to the finish line.

Nipper scored 14 not out off nine balls, and Lortan, who anchored the innings was not out for 60 in 57 balls.

Inland reached 132/2 and won by eight wickets with 16 balls to spare.

The result means Inland are the most consistent side across the three competitions of semi-professional provincial cricket, having already won the 50-over version, and also being in contention in the three-day format of the game.

SCORES IN BRIEF

Gauteng 128/7 (Brian Barnard 25, Richard das Neves 22, Craig Alexander 2-25, Graham Hume 1-20)

KwaZulu-Natal Inland 132/2 (Tyler Lortan 60, Sarel Erwee 35, Thamsanqa Rapelogo 1-20, Reece Williams 1-24).

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