Inland qualify for semis in historic triumph

2009-03-11 00:00

KZN Inland made history in the short life of the province as a first-class cricket entity when they qualified for the SA Airways Provincial Challenge 45-over semi-finals at the Maritzburg Oval at the weekend.

Needing victory with a bonus point over Namibia in Pool B, Inland won by 57 runs to enter the semi-finals by the slenderest of margins over third-placed Border.

They will meet Pool A winners Boland on March 28 in Paarl. And there might well be an all-KZN final as on the same day at Newlands, KZN Coastal tackle Pool B winners Western Province in the other last-four match.

Both Inland and Coastal finished second in their respective pools, and KZN supporters will be holding thumbs that they make it to the final, which is scheduled for April 4 at a venue still to be decided.

At the PMB Oval at the weekend, Namibia were missing some players due to work commitments.

Nonetheless, Inland did well to win their first three-day match of the season (by 85 runs on Saturday) and follow that with Sunday’s comprehensive 45-over victory, earning the vital bonus point that propelled them into the 45-over semi-finals.

Inland’s star performers on Sunday were primarily Glen Addicott with the bat and Ross McMillan with the ball. The hard-hitting Addicott’s 79 off 78 deliveries included four fours and two sixes, and he featured in 50 partnerships for the fourth and fifth wickets with Kyle Nipper (29) and Ollie Humphries (33).

In the space of a couple of overs McMillan decimated the Namibian innings as the visitors lost six wickets for 28 runs.

Apart from his useful contribution with the bat, Nipper capped a fine match with the run-out of a Namibian opening batsman as well as snaring two wickets for 24 runs.

SCORES IN BRIEF: KZN Inland 208 in 43.5 overs (G Addicott 79, K Nipper 29, O Humphries 33, S Dorasamy 21, L van der Westhuizen 4-48). Namibia 151 in 37.1 overs (S Ackerman 26, R McMillan 5-32, Nipper 2-24). Inland won by 57 runs.

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