KZN Inland slump with win in sight

2013-01-07 00:00

THE KwaZulu-Natal Inland cricket team put up a brave fight against Boland in the CSA Provincial One-day Competition match at the Maritzburg Oval yesterday, but it was not quite enough to prevent a three-wicket defeat.

Inland were probably 30-odd runs short of setting a winning total, and they defended their modest 202 with great resolution.

Wrist spinner Tabraiz Shamsi achieved vital breakthroughs with his variations, and with captain Kyle Nipper and back-up spinners Brad Moses and Tyler Lortan posing problems, a memorable victory could have resulted.

However, by then it was too late as Boland had got off to a dream start in chasing down the target, notching 90 runs on the scoreboard by the time the first wicket fell in the 12th over.

The Shamsi-Nipper combination saw four wickets fall in five overs, but Uwe Birkenstock and the in-form Ryan Canning were able to steer their team out of some awkward moments where just one more wicket might well have given Inland the winning edge.

Earlier, Inland were dogged by ill fortune after winning the toss and electing to bat. Batsmen looking in great touch suffered the misfortune of smashing beautiful shots straight to catchers who hardly had to move a foot, and what might have been glorious sixes or fours ended in long walks back to the pavilion.

Their hopes revived when the in-form Brad Moses and partner Tyler Lortan added 108 for the fifth wicket, but their demise within three overs of each other cut short the extra 30 runs needed to win the match.

In short, Inland’s bowlers ran out of runs to defend.

The three-day match, in which Boland captain Canning scored back-to-back centuries, was poised for a thrilling finish on Saturday, but bad light resulted in the teams having to settle for a draw when both had serious designs on victory.

Chasing 245 for the 10 points, Inland were on 190 for six when the light intervened.

SJ Erwee — showing outstanding shot selection in the face of an exceptionally defensive field setting — and the prolific Brad Moses were in a great position to pull off a stunning triumph.

Playing one of the best innings seen at the PMB Oval in a while, Erwee hit a magnificent unbeaten 90 off just 74 balls that included 11 fours and a six, and in that sort of form a short chase of 10 to the over alongside Moses, a master at rotating the strike, was a very real possibility.

Inland play Gauteng at the PMB Oval from Thursday to Sunday.

The three-day match will be followed by the first round of the T20 competition on the Sunday.

SCORES IN BRIEF

50-Over: KZN Inland 202 in 49.3 overs (B Moses 56, T Lortan 57; R Henry 4-32, D Botha 2-34). Boland 206/7 in 41.1 overs (E Kriek 61, U Birkenstock 43*; T Shamsi 3-36, K Nipper 2-35). Boland won by 3 wkts. Points: Boland 4 pts, KZN Inland 0 pts.

3-Day: Boland 1st inn. 222 in 77.3 overs (R Canning 113; S Mjekula 2-20, K Nipper 2-56, T Shamsi 3-62). KZN Inland 1st inn. 320 in 92 overs (N Hendrie 61, B Moses 119, R Pretorius 52; H Paulse 4-53, F Adams 3-66). Boland 2nd inn. 342/6 dec in 98 overs (E Kriek 91; R Canning 106*; K Nipper 2-71, T Shamsi 2-101). KZN Inland 2nd inn. 194/6 after 35 overs (N Hendrie 30, C Barron 35, S Erwee 90*, P Jeftha 4-48). Match drawn. Points: KZN Inland 8,4 pts, Boland 6,44 pts.

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