Varsity pip Midlands to Inland Premier 60 title

2010-03-17 00:00

IT was a case of so near yet so far for Midlands as Varsity won the KZN Inland Premier 60 title by a slender 3,4 points from the Farmers after 14 rounds of competition — and with it a coveted ticket to National Club Championships.

It all came down to Sunday’s final league match at Eston, with Midlands leading the log from the campus-based club going into the toss.

Midlands posted a creditable 213 for five in their 60 overs, with Inland opener Mario Olivier and Bruce Dixon leading the way in the face of Prosper Tsvanhu and company’s bowling. However, Varsity’s strong batting line-up was never in trouble as the top-order all came off, the Students’ skipper Tafadzwa Chiota leading the charge of provincial players Brad Moses, Glen Addicott and Cheslin Nhlapo to a sixwicket victory with 50 balls to spare.

Defending champs Standard, who wrested the title from perennial winners Varsity last season, posted a five-wicket victory over Zingari at Wanderers, but, with 10 points docked for the late submission of a results card in an earlier round, they were always chasing the game going into the final straight.

Also in an earlier round, Varsity had two points docked for the late submission of a card, but this wasn’t fatal.

One must also spare a thought for frontrunners who had matches against the weaker sides rained out, as big victories there are vital to staying in the race. It’s the luck of the draw, though.

The Brown brothers, Lyndon and Gareth, couldn’t kick on after good starts against Standard, while the consistent Clint Bowyer and Juan Pretorius kept Zingari in check. In search of 158, Standard were comfortable winners as Chad Barron made an unbeaten halfcentury with Robin Elliot’s 36 adding support.

Another fine all-round display at the Maritzburg Oval by former Inland opening bowler Qasim Khurshid saw Young Natalians earn a rare victory. Fellow strugglers K&L came close, though, and, if they had managed seven more runs, might have jumped above third-last Natalians on the final log.

Pakistan-born Khurshid received welcome support with the ball from Irfaan Saleem (3-42) and Kallim Shah (2-27).

Meanwhile, the KZN Coastal Premier 60 is also going down to the wire, although second-placed Crusaders, fresh from a crushing victory over defending champs Berea Rovers, have a game in hand — against lowly Tertiary. This means that with just one match of their own left, log-leaders DHS Rhythm appear to have little chance of retaining their slender 4,38 point advantage.

SCORES IN BRIEF

Inland Premier 60: Young Natalians 175/9 (Q Khurshid 49). K&L 169 (Khurshid 4-43, I Saleem 3-42). YN won by 6 runs.

Lancashire vs Northern Districts: No result (wet outfield).

Zingari 157 (L Brown 36; C Bowyer 4-35, J Pretorius 3-26). Standard scored 159/5 (C Barron 54*). Std won by 5 wkts.

Midlands 213/5 (M Olivier 85*, B Dixon 57; P Tsvanhu 3-47). Varsity 214/4 (T Chiota 56, B Moses 53*, G Addicott 53). Var won by 6 wkts.

Final log (all played 14): 1 Var 107 pts; 2 Mid 103.6 pts; 3 Std 93 pts; 4 Zingari 79 pts; 5 Lancs 60 pts; 6 YN 32 pts; 7 K&L 25 pts; 8 ND 16 pts.

* Std were docked 10 points and Var 2 points for late submission of result cards.

Coastal Premier 60: African Warriors 91 (K. Cele 40, A. Razak 3-20, R. Reeves 4-24). DHS Rhythm 92/2 (I. Khan 68*). Rhythm won by 8 wkts.

Crusaders 231/9 (J. Kent 51, M. Alexander 41, J. Schorn 52*; S. Erwee 4-80, D. Love 3-36). Berea Rovers 106 (M. Johnson 5-25, N. Hewer 3-21). Saders won by 125 runs.

Chatsworth United 174 (M. Pillay 43, B. Taylor 7-69). Chatsworth Sporting 138 (D. Miller 69; Q. Friend 5-17, S. Pillay 3-44). United won by 36 runs.

Tertiary 81 (D. Smit 5-21, J. Fowler 5-43). Delta 82/5. Delta won by 5 wkts.

Topham 174 (M. Boote 32; K. Gilham 4-41). Pinetown 114 (G. Chislet 38; R. Bhardwaj 3-38, M. Patel 4-54). Topham won by 60 runs.

Log (all played 17 except where stated): 1 DHS 205.57 pts; 2 Saders (16) 201.19 pts; 3 Rovers 188.12 pts; 4 Delta 171.92 pts; 5 Chats Utd 147.73 pts; 6 Chats Sporting 147.31 pts; 7 Topham 145.10 pts; 8 Pinetown 130.41 pts; 9 Tertiary (16) 67.24 pts; Warriors 43.76 pts.

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