No stopping Eston-based farmers as Inland Premier 60 into final lap

2010-02-11 00:00

THERE appears to be no stopping Midlands as KZN Inland Premier 60 heads into the final lap.

Following their eight-wicket defeat of Zingari and defending champions Standard’s 19-run win over title contenders Varsity, the Eston-based farmers have a 10-point lead on the log and a hand on the trophy.

The term “farmers” is a bit rich nowadays, what with the likes of Inland player/coach Doug Watson in the side — plus a number of others not exactly au fait with the intricacies of a tractor — but there are just enough khaki-clad boys left to continue the tradition borne out of the strong country districts teams of years gone by.

Durban import Kimeshan Chetty, old soldier Mark Haselau and Darren Mortimer got threefers to destroy any hopes Zingari had of compiling a defendable total, while kineticist Mario Olivier and the beefy Clint Lock made short work of Zing’s bowlers.

There was an excellent contest at Varsity Oval, where Standard put up a defendable 240 on the scoreboard, Inland all-rounders Kyle Nipper and Morné van Vuuren getting the runs. Nipper and Van Vuuren were among the wickets as well, as Varsity’s Brad Moses, new signing Tyler Lortan and Glen Addicott got in and then got out at critical times.

Lancashire were successful at their stronghold in Woodlands, the Michael Patricks Oval, where they beat Ladysmith side K&L by five wickets.

Mohammed Suleiman was too hot for K&L to handle, as his fourfer with the ball and 37 with the bat proved the mainstay in the Ladysmith boys’ downfall.

It is instructive looking at the log, where the top five have each won a minimum of three matches in 10 outings, while the bottom three have just one win between them.

It is worth repeating: a premier league consisting of the top five teams playing each other over four rounds (16 competitive matches) would be more beneficial than the current 14 matches with eight representing the level of play befitting a province that selects a first-class team.

Yes, there have been results that appear respectable, but that is because the top sides are not being challenged sufficiently.

How does one motivate a player when games are won by lunch time? How do players develop and improve in such an environment? This does not encourage schoolboys to stay here, let alone keep current talent in the KZN capital.

To suggest there should only be a five-team league is an indictment on the state of the league. The three other teams have done very little to improve and be competitive, so the top clubs are top-heavy with quality players — some preferring to play club seconds rather than others’ poor first teams. If a second XI of a club wins the Challenge League they should have the right to challenge the bottom-placed premier league team for promotion. But this is not allowed.

Meanwhile, Rovers top the KZN Coastal Premier 60 log by 16 points from Crusaders and a fine performance by their all-rounder SJ Erwee (93 and 3-24) saw Chatsworth Sporting demolished by 147 runs.

Two other recent PMB schoolboys now playing in Durban, Shaun Simpson and Matthew Boote, shone for Delta and Topham respectively.

Inland Premier: Zingari 82 (Kimeshan Chetty 3-27, Darren Mortimer 3-10, Mark Haselau 3-29). Midlands 84/2 (Mario Olivier 37*). Midlands won by 8 wkts.

K&L 117 (Mohammed Suleman 4-14). Lancashire 118/5 (Suleman 37). Lancs won by 5 wkts.

Standard 240/6 (Kyle Nipper 82, Morne van Vuuren 72*, Robin Elliot 40). Varsity 221 (Bradley Moses 55, Tyler Lortan 49; Van Vuuren 4-57). Std won by 19 runs.

KFC Inland T20:

Standard 163/6 (Chad Barron 51). Zingari scored 94/9 (Morne van Vuuren 4-22). Standard won by 69 runs.

Young Natalians 92 (Bryan Reese 3-8). Varsity 2nd XI 94/4 (Faizel Simon 48*). Varsity 2nd XI won by 6 wkts.

Inland Premier log (all played 10 except where mentioned): 1 Midlands 79,60 pts; 2 Varsity 69 pts; 3 Standard and Zingari (59 pts); 5 Lancashire 42 pts; 6 Young Natalians (played 9) 20 pts; 7 K&L 14 pts; 8 Northern Districts (played 9) 8 pts.

Sunday’s fixtures – Premier 45: Std vs YN (Wanderers); Zing vs Var (Coll).

Coastal Prem 60: African Warriors 105. Pinetown 112/1 (C. Delport 47*). Ptn won by 6 wkts.

Rovers 273/6 (S. Erwee 93; B. Taylor 4-100). Chats Sporting 126 (N. Govender 58; S. Erwee 3/24). Rovers won by 147 runs.

Chats Utd 211/8 (F. Crowie 69; J. Kent 3-29). Crusaders 215/2 (J. Schorn 121). Saders won by 8 wkts.

Delta 175 (S. Simpson 51, S. Rampersad 5-37). Topham 178/5 (M. Boote 34, K. Nagan 36*). Topham won by 5 wkts.

Rhythm 247 (K. Abbott 56). Tertiary 108 (A. Razak 4-41). Rhythm won by 139 runs.

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