Inland ‘want to finish well against Western Province’

2015-02-19 00:00

WHILE the defeat on Sunday in the CSA Provincial Challenge 50-over match put paid to champions KZN Inland’s hopes of reaching this year’s final, coach Grant Morgan said before boarding a flight to Cape Town yesterday that the players were in positive mood.

Inland take on Western Province from today through to Sunday in the Sunfoil 3-Day Cup before tackling WP in Sunday’s T20 clash.

“It was massively disappointing but it doesn’t take away the fact that we have had a very good season and again punched well above our weight,” said Morgan. “The boys want to finish off well against ­Western Province and are in the right mindset to do that.”

It’s not going to be an easy task as WP have quality about them. Batsman Pieter Malan is ninth in the three-day averages with 694 runs at an average of 53,38 while 19-year-old Zubayr Hamza is in 11th spot with 448 runs at 49,77 and left-hander Matthew Kleinveldt is 14th with 614 runs at 43,85.

Inland opening bat Nic Hendrie is in 16th place in the competition’s top 20 batsmen with 262 runs from three ­matches during an injury-hampered season at an average of 43,66.

Inland will miss the pace and swing of Matt Pillans and Graham Hume, who are in the Dolphins side up at the Wanderers where they take on the Lions. Hume is the runaway leader in the Sunfoil 3-Day Cup bowling averages with 26 wickets in five matches at 11 runs per wicket. Inland ­leg-spinner Abdul Razak is 12th in the bowling stakes with 22 wickets at 19,18 and could be a major threat in tandem with left-arm spinner Kyle Nipper.

At the top of the Inland batting order, Imraan Khan will be missed, as he is also in the Dolphins side after a great run with the bat in the franchise competition. Back in the Inland side are top-order batsmen Abram Ndhlovu, who was with Uganda in Windhoek recently, and SJ Erwee, who showed with a sublime knock on Sunday that he is well on the road to full fitness again. For the rest, it’s the same lads who did battle against Boland.

Inland skipper Shane Burger is the right man at the helm when emotions have run high and his leadership role in all respects will be important.

The T20 match is on Sunday.

KZN Inland: Abram Ndhlovu, Nic Hendrie, Tshepang Dithole, SJ Erwee, Sohail Razack, Shane Burger (capt), Kyle Nipper, Ruan Pretorius, Mbasa Gqadushe, Abdul ­Razak, Athi Maposa.

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