KZN Inland in the driving seat

2010-10-15 00:00

HOME side KZN Inland were in pole position as the first day of the Provincial Three-Day Challenge against Gauteng’s Highveld Strikers drew to a close yesterday.

After scoring an impressive 295, Inland had the Strikers struggling at 65 for three when stumps were drawn.

But two regulation catches behind the wicket went down off Brady Barends, and instead of resuming this morning with just five first-innings wickets intact, the strong Strikers batting line-up still has the considerable services of not out captain Shane Burger and opener Dominic Hendricks to call on.

Rudi Hillermann bowled well with the new ball alongside Barends and much rests on their shoulders in today’s vital morning session, which could determine the future of this intriguing match.

Local fans will be hoping the two lives afforded the Strikers batsmen won’t be too costly, but don’t count on it. However, Inland remain in a strong position with the Strikers still 230 behind in the first innings and three of their top four already gone.

Having been asked to bat, Inland openers Devon Conway (59) and Mario Olivier (28) did a good job in blunting the dangers that the first morning brings, their 73-run partnership paving the way for the powerful Glen Addicott’s 96 off 123 balls that included 13 fours and four big sixes.

Conway, too, hit two massive straight-driven sixes, but the former Strikers batsman, as well as Addicott and wicketkeeper/batsman Chad Barron (63), went out at inopportune moments just when they appeared ready to really kick on.

The left-arm orthodox spinner Aaron Phangiso was rewarded for his persistence with six for 77 off 17, but is unlikely to get so many freebie wickets again.

Pretty much all the Inland batsmen gave their wickets away, but their intentions were correct in trying to push the score along against the impressive Strikers line-up that finished runners-up to Eastern Province in the three-dayers and second to Northerns in the 40-over Sunday competition.

Scores in brief:

KZN Inland first innings 295 all out (D. Conway 59, G. Addicott 96, C. Barron 63; Phangiso 77/6, Symes 59/2)

Highveld Strikers first innings 65/3 - 16 overs

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