‘KZN Inland had a superior game plan’

2014-12-04 00:00

LOOKING at the names on the KZN Provincial’s team sheet ahead of their three-day clash in Pietermaritzburg last weekend, KZN Inland had the right to feel a little apprehensive.

Included in the Durban side were senior Dolphins players Divan van Wyk, Cameron Delport, Daryn Smit, Thandi Tshabalala, Daryn Dupavillon, Rabian Engelbrecht and Sibonelo Makhanya.

That’s more than half the team, while Inland stuck to their tried-and-trusted warriors led by skipper ­Shane Burger, with Imraan Khan, ­Sarel Erwee, Kyle Nipper and Matthew Pillans the names that sparked some interest for the Midlands outfit.

With the four-day series starting for the Dolphins on December 18 against the Warriors at the PMB Oval, this was the ideal opportunity for the contracted Dolphins players to prove their worth and stake their claim for a return to the big time.

But, cricket being the game it is, the formbook and best laid plans do sometimes go awry, and the so-called expected is turned on its head.

And so it was that Inland recorded a solid 100-run win in a low-scoring affair on a tricky, sticky wicket.

Provincial coach Roger Telemachus acknowledged the better team won and his men had some work to do.

“Simply put, we were not good enough,” he said. “Inland had a superior game plan and they executed those plans well, having us on the back foot from the start.”

Inland batted first after winning the toss and Telemachus’s lads gave a good account of themselves, skittling the home side for 197.

“Such a bowling performance ­deserves solid batting and we were unable to achieve that. We battled in that department and could not cash in,” said Telemachus.

Replying with 123, a 74-run advantage was given to Inland and they never looked back, setting an eventual target of 242 to win, which proved more than enough.

“Yes, we had all those senior ­players in the side but they failed to deliver and did not play well,” said ­Telemachus. “However, the youngsters in the side also need to take on responsibility and cannot rely on the more experienced players to keep pulling them through.

“No excuses. Inland deserved their win. They used the conditions well and fast-medium bowler Graham Hume [9-53 in the match] was magnificent, a real standout.”

Now there is a break for the Provincial side until January 15, when they take on Free State at Chatsworth Oval. Until then, there is work to be done.

“We continue to work hard, focusing on the areas where we can improve so we can move forward,” said Telemachus. “My biggest disappointment is with the youngsters in the team. They must contribute and buy in to what we wish to achieve, thereby enabling us as a team to deliver the standard of play we desire.

“There are some areas still to be ironed out, but we will get that sorted soon.”

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