One-Day Challenge a must-win for Inland lads

2015-02-12 00:00

THERE is surely no more compelling reason to get down to the picturesque Maritzburg Oval.

The KZN capital and surrounding districts’ flagship team, the KZN Inland senior side under coach Grant Morgan and captain Shane Burger, face Boland over the next four days. And Sunday’s Cricket South Africa Provincial One-Day Challenge 50-over match is a must-win for the defending champions from ­Pietermaritzburg.

Owing to the debacle of the officials’ miscalculation with the Duckworth/Lewis method, Inland were robbed of a deserved victory against Free State earlier this season and now that “defeat” has come back to haunt them.

That so-called Free State “win” sees the Bloem boys a handy two points ahead of the defending champs Inland on the Pool B log going into Sunday’s 9 am start time. But the Free Staters have played all their Pool matches.

Inland have this one last chance to end top of Pool B and qualify for the final, so victory is non-

negotiable on Sunday. Morgan is hoping that the various injury niggles will have mended by then, as his side need to put their best foot forward from ball one.

To this end, the preceding Sunfoil Three-Day Cup match that starts at 9 am today and goes through to Saturday, provides the perfect opportunity for the Inland lads to prepare properly out in the middle ahead of Sunday’s clash.

Boland are out of the running for silverware and will be able to play freely. Inland have lost just three of 21 matches to date and should have their measure, although Petrus Jeftha, Emile Kriek and Ocki Erasmus are quality enough to turn a game.

Entrance is free on all four days and spectators are welcome to bring their own food and beverages.

There could be no better time for all cricket fans in the region to get down to the PMB Oval than this Sunday.

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