Inland know they can take title after wins

2013-12-10 00:00

THE KwaZulu-Natal Inland cricket team will go into next week’s CSA Provincial One-Day Competition game against Northerns knowing that they can win the title.

Following a disappointing draw against Easterns in the CSA Provincial Three-Day Competition game at the Pietermaritzburg Oval over the weekend, Inland went on to wallop the visitors in the shorter format on Sunday.

After a good first two days at the Pietermaritzburg Oval last week, Inland couldn’t bowl the visitors out on the final day and had to settle for a draw, a disappointing result according to coach Grant Morgan.

After declaring on 265/7, Inland set Easterns a target of 283, and following their bowling effort from the first day, they were confident in knocking them off before they reached the target. But, the visitors batted more solidly and were able to keep their wickets intact and managed to reach 174/3 at the end of the third day.

“The three-day game was a bit of a disappointment. We were in with a shout and we dropped one of two catches. The way we played, we had nothing to lose,” Morgan told The Witness yesterday.

He said the way they attacked Easterns in the three-day game gave them the confidence and allowed them to pull off the win in the shorter format. “We were good yesterday [Sunday],” said Morgan.

He with Easterns having been on 61/6 at one point, Morgan expressed his disappointment that they allowed the visitors to reach their eventual score of 205/9 after their 50 overs.

Inland reached the target of 206 in the 40th over, with only four wickets lost and with 96 runs coming off the blade of the in-form Sarel Erwee’s bat.

“The positive from that was that we can knock off targets comfortably,” said Morgan. Morgan also praised the impact Dolphins quickie Craig Alexander had throughout the weekend.

The fast bowler claimed five first-innings wickets in the three-day game, and made another good contribution with four scalps in the One-Dayer on Sunday.

“Having Craig in the side is a bonus for us as he brings something extra. Credit to him for what he’s done. But, our win against Gauteng [the previous weekend] proved that we can beat the bigger teams without our Dolphins guys like Craig,” he added.

Inland now find themselves fifth on the one-day log, and a realistic chance on winning the trophy if they beat Northerns at Centurion this weekend and other results go their way. However, they are still well off the pace in the longer format.

The One-Day game against Northerns has been moved to next Monday because of Nelson Mandela’s funeral on Sunday.

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