Inland finally awarded CSA one-day trophy

2014-03-14 00:00

THE KwaZulu-Natal Inland Cricket Union finally got their hands on their prize when they were handed the CSA One-Day Competition trophy yesterday morning.

The trophy for the competition, which ended in December last year, was handed to the union before their CSA Three-Day Competition game against Eastern Province yesterday in which 17-year-old Maritzburg College opening bowler Lwandiswa Zuma made his first class debut.

Coach Grant Morgan felt that Zuma making his debut in front of his College team-mates on the day Inland were awarded the trophy as being the best provincial One-Day side in the country was a “poignant moment”.

“It shows that people shouldn’t write Inland cricket off,” Morgan told The Witness yesterday afternoon. “It was a big moment for us. We’ve already had our celebrations, and we’ve managed to remain focused and play some good cricket since,” he said.

Inland, sitting fifth on the league table in the 15-team provincial competition, were not in contention for the three-day title, and Morgan felt they dropped the ball in a number of games they could have won, but didn’t.

“We’ve fallen away in the three-day competition, but we want to finish as high as we can. If you look at it, we’ve been the most consistent team in all three competitions,” he said.

Inland are sitting at the top of the Coastal Pool in the T20 competition, and a win against EP on Sunday will guarantee that they play the final — against the top team in the Inland Pool — at the Pietermaritzburg Oval.

Inland were struggling at the end of the first day of play against EP yesterday, but Morgan attributed that to the loss of a number of his players.

Reliable batsman Sarel Erwee made his debut for the Dolphins against the Warriors last week, while seam bowler Matthew Pillans has also been called up by Lance Klusener. Spinner Tabraiz Shamsi’s good form this season has also seen him return to the Dolphins set up.

Morgan was also chuffed at Zuma’s bowling as the youngster bowled eight overs for 22 runs, going at an economy of 2,75 runs an over.

“College have been willing to give us their players, and we hope that the other unions follow suit,” he said.

Morgan added that their aim was to develop players and get them playing as high as possible.

Scores in brief

Eastern Province 318/9 (Kelly Smuts 91, Edward Moore 51, Kirwin Christoffels 51, Kyle Nipper 4-69, Graham Hume 2-33).

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