Top teams clash in premier league club cricket

2008-11-06 00:00

THE two unbeaten teams, home side Midlands and Standard, clash in round six of the KZN Inland Premier 60 competition at Eston on Sunday.

Today sees the introduction of the new KFC Inland 20/20 competition and this festive event takes place at the Varsity Oval with the opening slugfests featuring Orientals up against Masibemunye at 4 pm and Midlands tackling Young Natalians at 7 pm.

In the Premier 60 league, both Midlands and Standard are playing good cricket and the Farmers, with Doug Watson in their line-up and a number of experienced cricketers in the saddle, have sights set on winning the league. Murray Hampson, Bruce Dixon, Mario Oliver and Ant Foster are all in form, while the beefy Clint Locke and skipper Scott Hosking have seen it all in club cricket.

Standard have Morne van Vuuren with South Africa at the Hong Kong Sixes, but Derbyshire professional Tim Groenewald and the club’s exciting youngsters — Hilton College quick bowler Nathan Roberts the latest addition — blended with Clint Bowyer and Andre van Vuuren’s experience provide a formidable challenge.

Standard’s bowling attack and batting line-up have produced the goods — they only have one batsman in the top six, opener Brendon Jones, who has not played first-class cricket. Yet Jones is in good form and must be knocking on the Inland door.

Young Standard skipper Kyle Nipper has made a big impression with bat and ball, while Brendon Govender, Brent Bragge and the underrated Chad Barron are quite capable of scoring centuries.

Champions Varsity — with an ideal blend of quality batsmen and bowlers in Tafadzwa Chihota, Ross McMillan, Garry Hampson, Glen Addicott and Ollie Humphries to name a few — host Lancashire.

Renoir Patricks, SA U21 and SA Tertiary hockey player Devon van der Merwe, Gareth Basson, Kieron Nero (averaging 40) and Clement Mvovo are all in form for Lancs, but Mbasa Gqadushe’s hurricane hitting could decide this one.

In other fixtures, Orientals take on fifth-placed Zingari at the PMB Oval. Zingari should also win this one convincingly unless KZN Inland cricketers Sashen Dorasamy and Kevershan Padayachee inspire the young Orientals side to pull off an upset.

The “Battle of the North” takes place at Settlers Park in Ladysmith in a clash that will give bragging rights as to the top team in northern KZN.

Home side K&L meet Northern Districts of Newcastle, and the winners might be able to put some light between them and Orientals and Young Natalians on the lower rung of the log.

Obviously not the only lower-league match on the menu, the Standard II versus Masibemunye Challenge League South encounter at the new Wanderers Oval in Aberfeldy Road, Scottsville should give a good indication of the strength at this level.

FIXTURES

Today — KFC Inland 20/20 (Varsity Oval): Orientals vs Masibemunye (4 pm); Midlands vs Young Natalians (7 pm).

Sunday — Premier 60: Varsity vs Lancashire (Varsity Oval); Midlands vs Standard (Eston); Orientals vs Zingari (Pmb Oval); K&L vs Northern Districts (Ladysmith). Young Natalians (bye).

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