Incentives for Inland against

2012-03-15 00:00

IT doesn’t get any easier for KZN Inland as they prepare to face Northerns in Provincial Challenge action from today to Sunday.

The three-day match is followed by Sunday’s 50-over encounter.

In the past two rounds Inland have experienced contrasting fortunes, beating Easterns back-to-back at the PMB Oval only to be followed by back-to-back defeats against Free State in Bloemfontein.

Inland skipper Kyle Nipper pointed out his side lost an important three-day toss that set them on the back foot from the outset as they were dismissed cheaply in 60 overs.

Having time to spare, Free State then ground their way remorselessly to a match-winning first innings total.

Nipper added that Inland batted poorly in their second innings, though, so not all the blame could be laid at the foot of ill-fortune. The subsequent one-dayer was a debacle, as the Free State ground staff at Chevrolet Park had watered the pitch, which left the outcome of the match at the mercy of the spin of a coin once again.

Inland again drew the short straw, as good-length deliveries almost decapitating batters proved.

Perhaps against Northerns fortunes won’t be held to ransom by the vagaries of the toss of a coin.

This weekend there is further incentive for the Inland squad. Contracts are due for review and it is unlikely that Inland’s management will keep the faith with everyone.

To date Inland have played 11 of their quota of 13 rounds of matches and to a greater or lesser degree most individuals have had a reasonable chance to stake their claim.

However, very few can say with any authority that they have done so. Statistics only tell part of the story, but numbers do serve as a general indicator of performance.

The one-day competition sees Inland in sixth place to Northerns’ four.

Glen Addicott lies third in the top 20 batting averages and Devon Conway 16th. In the bowling top 20, Inland’s Faheem Suleman is in sixth spot with Brady Barends 18th and Nipper joint 19th — not too bad, but worse is to come.

In the three-day competition Inland are third-last on the 14-team log (Northerns are ninth) and only Addicott (15th) features in the competition’s top 20 batting averages.

No Inland leather flinger features in the bowling top 20.

KZN Inland: Divan van Wyk, Suhail Razack, SJ Erwee, Devon Conway, Glen Addicott, Rudi Hillermann, Kyle Nipper (capt), Brady Barends, Kimeshan Chetty, Tabraiz Shamsi, Athie Maposa, Mbasa Gqadushe, Calvin Savage, Faheem Suleman.

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