Inland hope for strong finish to the year when they face EP

2015-11-25 06:23

THE KZN Inland cricket team are preparing for their final games of 2015 - a Sunfoil 3-Day Cup match against Eastern Province at The Oval, running from Thursday, November 26, to Saturday, November 28, followed by a CSA Provincial One-Day Competition clash at the same venue on Sunday - and coach Shane Burger is looking for a strong finish to the year from his charges.

The Inland team, under the captaincy of SJ Erwee, have been in fine form, losing only one match thus far, to Northerns in the final of the Africa T20 Cup. They avenged that defeat in fine fashion in their most recent outing, thrashing Northerns by 10 wickets in Pretoria, which truly pleased coach Shane Burger.

“That was as close as we could get to our perfect performance. From a batting point of view, we were flawless,” he said.

Looking ahead to the challenge posed by Eastern Province, he said: “Eastern Province rely on three or four players. Kelly Smuts is a good cricketer. James Price is a good cricketer. They have their seasoned campaigners. Eastern Province will be a disciplined team. They have a good coach in Piet Botha. They will be well drilled.

“Our biggest danger in this game is that they see us as a threat. This will be a big game for them, not that it won’t be a big game for us. They’ll try and put one over us.
We need to be ready for that because, traditionally, Eastern Province has always been a strong team.”

Summing matters up, he added: “It would be nice if we could get another win under the belt and go into our seven-week break leading every competition.”
The Inland team will have a break over Christmas and New Year, but that will be preceded by three weeks of a mid-season training programme, which will include skills, fitness and gym.

“I want to have them ready to fire against Gauteng in Pietermaritzburg on January 25,” Burger said.

“It’s a big one [for me],” he admitted.

Burger would like to see one of the top six batsmen in the batting order be the leading run scorer, he said, but, then again, number seven batsman Kyle Nipper is the leading run scorer in the country in the Sunfoil 3-Day Cup.

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