KZN Inland desperate to save match

2014-10-25 00:00

THE Free State pace and seam attack ran through the KZN Inland batting line-up for just 68 in the first innings at the Maritzburg Oval yesterday in reply to 406 for six declared to set the Bloemfontein lads up for a big win on the last day of this Sunfoil 3-Day Cup, Pool B match today.

Inland fared better when asked to bat again and were a more respectable 80 for two at the close, but still trail by 258 runs with eight wickets remaining.

“It was utterly not good enough, no excuses,” was Inland coach Grant Morgan’s summing up of the Inland first innings. “Credit to Free State, they bowled well, but we are totally committed to saving the game and have set up a game plan to do that.”

Morgan said the Proteas have shown that it can be done, positive batters like Faf du Plessis and AB de Villiers having the sense to rein in their attacking mindset and bat for long periods to save matches. “The weather conditions might be our ally, five different weather channels suggest 60 to 70% rain so that is a further motivation for our batters to grit it out no matter how hopeless the situation might seem. Survival to lunch or tea break with just one wicket in hand might be enough before the rain comes down.”

As Morgan put it, if Inland can break down what at first glance appears a mammoth task into bite-size chunks and commit themselves mentally to a whole day’s play, each and every batsman has the capability to successfully face enough deliveries to help stave off defeat.

“The challenge is clear, every single batsman must be prepared to stand up and be counted.”

Earlier, Inland did well to hold the Free State first innings in check; although two dropped catches didn’t help the cause, the boys from Bloem taking their total from the overnight 331 for five to 406 before declaring. The CSA Provincial 50-Over Challenge match between defending champs KZN Inland and Free State starts at 9 am tomorrow.

SCORES IN BRIEF

Free State 1st inn 406/6 dec in 126 overs (Andries Gous 95, Michael Erlank 85, Patrick Botha 92, Romano Terblanche 74*; Cyril Mthimkhulu 2-64, Ruan Pretorius 2-51). KZN Inland 1st inn 68 in 33.4 overs (Duanne Olivier 3-18, Tumi Masekela 2-23, Gino Vries 3-7). Inland 2nd inn 80/2 (Abram Ndhlovu 29*, Mbasa Gqadushe 34).

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