KZN Inland meet mighty Northerns

2010-09-30 00:00

THERE is not much that needs to be said about Northerns coach Malibongwe Maketa’s powerful cricket team and there is no doubt that KZN Inland will have their work cut out in trying to contain the Pretoria lads over the Provincial Challenge three-day match, which begins at the Maritzburg Oval today, followed by the 40-over clash at the same venue on Sunday.

“Northerns are always a very good team, but if the guys do the basics right we can put the opposition under pressure,” said KZN Inland coach Doug Watson yesterday.

However, without the much-needed rain, the likelihood is that the pitch will be batsman-friendly to a fault.

“The wicket is likely to play in fairly similar manner to the way it has in the recent friendlies,” Watson agreed. “But in captain Kyle Nipper we have a top-class spinner.”

Inland’s captain last season, wicketkeeper/batsman Tim Drummond, is in the South African hockey team that is due to participate in the Commonwealth Games in Delhi from Monday next week. However, it appears likely that Nipper will captain the side throughout the season in a bid to lighten the load on the multi-talented midfielder.

Top-order batsman Chad Barron will be keeping wicket with former keeper turned off-spinner Mbasa Gqadushe as useful backup.

A big catch for Inland is the arrival of South Western Districts all-rounder Rudi Hillerman, although it has been offset somewhat by the decision of former Inland skipper and batsman/bowler Ross McMillan to join SWD.

All-rounder Ollie Humphries (exams) and opening bowler Kimeshan Chetty (hamstring) were not considered.

Bradley Moses and Glen Addicott, fresh from their fine performances for the Dolphins in pre-season friendlies, add strength to the Inland top-order batting, while Barron had a productive off-season with the Dolphins Academy, and Johannesburg’s Devon Conway is a great prospect, who is already making his mark in the province.

Left-hander Mario Olivier has the concentration necessary to grind out hundreds up front while much is expected this season of left-arm opening bowler Athi Maposa, with Cheslyn Nhlapo, Faheem Suleman and Brady Barends in the vital support roles.

TEAMS

KZN Inland: Mario Olivier, Devon Conway, Cheslyn Nhlapo, Bradley Moses, Glen Addicott, Chad Barron, Kyle Nipper (capt), Mbasa Gqadushe, Rudi Hillerman, Faheem Suleman, Athi Maposa, Brady Barends, Morné van Vuuren (one-day).

Northerns: Henry Davids, Sean Nowak, Graeme van Buuren, Abram Ndlovu, James Mokonyama, Tumi Masekela, Dylan Stanley, Christiaan Schoeman, Jeandré Jumat, Rassie van der Dussen, Rigard Geyser, Shaun von Berg, Pieter Malan.

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