KZN Inland: Morgan expects good weekend

2012-10-11 00:00

COACH Grant Morgan’s KZN Inland cricket team will have the chance to enjoy a more successful weekend than last when they meet Western Province in Cape Town from today to Sunday.

The CSA Provincial Competition three-day match begins today, with the limited-overs encounter due to take place on Sunday.

Inland were comprehensively beaten in both of last week’s matches against Eastern Province in Port Elizabeth, the three-day defeat by 10 wickets and the 50-over loss by six wickets.

Speaking to The Witness from Cape Town yesterday, Inland coach Grant Morgan was philosophical about the PE results.

“I knew the inherent danger of the matches, with seven new players in the side who had not been in the province before, and no pre-season preparation as a team,” said Morgan.

“Going into the EP matches, this team only had two practices with me, as I had to attend a coaching conference in East London, while our captain Kyle Nipper had to withdraw halfway through the matches for personal reasons.”

It was only Morgan’s second defeat in a first-class three-day match in his long coaching career, a remarkable record.

“We are all just getting to know each other and I am having a full look at all the players [in the squad]. I am encouraging the guys to play with freedom [this weekend]. After Cape Town, we have a three-week break and that will present us with an opportunity to assess where we are going.”

Mathew Hulett, who took over the reins after Nipper’s withdrawal last weekend, will remain captain for the WP matches, as Morgan wants to give Nipper the chance to focus on his own game.

The chance to work at the Champions League in India this week has resulted in the withdrawal of Inland top-order batsman SJ Erwee. Otherwise, the 16-player squad chosen for the Cape matches remain the same.

In their matches, WP were unfortunate to run out of time against Border at Newlands last Saturday and had to settle for a draw, when a win similar to that achieved by EP was on the cards. They suffered further frustration when last Sunday’s limited-over match was abandoned without a ball being bowled.

The weather in Cape Town is forecast to be sunny, with the possibility of occasional rain.

KZN Inland squad in Cape Town: Kyle Nipper, Tabraiz Shamsi, Chad Barron, Nabeel Bhayla, Bradley Moses, Mathew Hulett (capt), Abram Ndlovu, Ruhan Pretorius, Kyle Heyns, Sinethemba Mjekula, Nic Hendrie, Brady Barends, Yusuf Abdullah, Tyler Lortan, Jarred van Heerden. Coach: Grant Morgan.

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