Inland fight their way against Boland

2015-02-13 00:00

NO fewer than 17 wickets fell on day one of the Sunfoil Three-Day Cup clash between KZN Inland and ­Boland at the Maritzburg Oval yesterday and with almost 50% of the match wickets already in the bag it has certainly speeded the game up.

As things currently stand, Boland are on 125 for seven in reply to Inland’s 213 all out and trail by 88 runs with three wickets still in hand in the first innings.

“I would have liked the boys to get more runs on the board but in the context of the game I’m pleased,” was Inland coach Grant Morgan’s ­summation.

Inland certainly showed their trademark fighting spirit in playing themselves back into the game. Yet as Morgan said, the home team would have batted anyway had they won the toss.

Boland opening bowler Zakhele Qwabe picked up two early wickets before getting a third in the 11th over of the day, the key wicket of a threatening Imraan Khan, who got 28 off 38 balls that included six fours.

Shane Burger drew on all his experience to top-score on 51 off 91 deliveries that were punctuated with five boundaries. The skipper was Inland’s mainstay and his sixth-wicket partnership of 49 with Tshepang Sithole who scored 37 (98 balls, five fours) was the highest of the innings.

Qwabe (four for 46 from 14 overs) and Ocki Erasmus (three for 40 off 16.3 overs) were the pick of Boland’s attack.

Inland came back hard and the wine farmers lost wickets at regular intervals in their turn at the crease, paceman Matt Pillans (two for 21 from six overs) and Burger (two for nine off five overs) the standout ­performers in a potent strikeforce.

Middle-order batter Michael Loubser’s ability to hit a long ball took him to 40 before he tried to launch one too many, while the two men ­resuming today morning, Erasmus and Petrus Jeftha, could still cause headaches for Inland.

Sunday heralds the start of the all-important CSA One-Day Challenge 50-over match, which sees national title holders Inland determined to rubber stamp their place in the final.

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