KZN Inland and South Western Districts praying for good weather

2012-11-08 00:00

APART from a brief respite last weekend, the pesky weather continues to haunt Pietermaritzburg cricket and the chances of play on day one of the CSA Provincial Competition three-day match between KZN Inland and South Western Districts appear slim.

The Pietermaritzburg Oval is the venue for the affair from today to Saturday, before Sunday’s 50-over match. Inland coach Grant Morgan is all too aware of how the inclement conditions have affected his team during what was envisaged to be a busy three-week training programme. “In three weeks the only full net we had was on Tuesday morning while the seamers ran in on Monday.

“We are thankful to Hilton College for allowing the team to use their indoor centre, which has been brilliant,” the coach said yesterday.

Morgan has also benefited from the assistance of former England ODI batsman Mal Loye who has been working with the Inland batters.

“We are on the right track,” said new Inland mentor Morgan, who has been with his team for just six weeks.

“The team is starting to grow and there is an understanding developing between the players and myself.”

Divan van Wyk at the top of the Inland order is a welcome presence.

The opener hit 95 for the Dolphins against the Cobras at the Pieterma-ritzburg Oval three weeks ago.

SWD have no less than four cricketers who shone for KZN Inland in the recent past, from coach Garry Hampson to captain Ross McMillan, top-order batsman Glen Addicott and former St Charles and KZN Inland U18 all-rounder Gareth Dukes.

That aside, they have quality players in the likes of Warriors captain Gurshwin Rabie, Knights captain Adrian McLaren, recent SA Schools’ opening bowler Marcello Piedt — who took an astonishing seven wickets for six runs in this season’s rout of Western Province — and last season’s heaviest run-scorer in the three-dayers, Christiaan Jonker.

In the starkest of contrasts, SWD’s meritorious innings defeat of WP was followed by an innings loss to Boland.

“It was a below-par performance,” said Hampson on Wednesday.

The former KZN Inland all-rounder had a superb season as coach of SWD last season, the team ending third in the three-dayers and fifth in the one-day competition.

As to last season’s all-too-occasional Dolphins player and Inland star Addicott, in his early days with a new province?

“Glen will fit in anywhere, he’s that type of guy,” said Hampson. “He’s enjoying it but has had two bad decisions and a Jaffa in his three innings so far.”

The Inland bowlers are forewarned that the hard-hitting right-hander has every reason to feel there is some unfinished business — even at this early stage of the season.

TEAMS

KZN Inland: Divan van Wyk, Nic Hendrie, SJ Erwee, Brad Moses, Mathew Hulett, Kyle Nipper (capt), Abram Ndhlovu, Ruhan Pretorius, Brady Barends, Tabraiz Shamsi, Sinethemba Mjekula. Tyler Lortan/Jared van Heerden (50-over match). Mbasa Gqadushe (12th man). Coach: Grant Morgan. SWD: Ross McMillan (capt), Luthando Mnyanda, Adrian McLaren, Christiaan Jonker, Glen Addicott, Kobus Scholtz, Brendon Louw, Douglas Baartman, Phabhama Fojela, Gurshwin Rabie, Marcello Piedt, Pieter Stuurman, Gareth Dukes, Reece Williams. Coach: Garry Hampson.

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