KZN Inland hope to end year on a high

2014-04-05 00:00

KWAZULU-NATAL Inland will attempt to finish their cricket season on a high when they take on Gauteng in the final of the CSA Provincial T20 Challenge in Johannesburg today.

Grant Morgan’s team have had an impressive campaign and after claiming the one-day competition late last year, they’re bidding for their second trophy of the season.

The KwaZulu-Natal Inland Cricket Union have been perennial under-achievers through the years, but since former Titans and Lions coach Morgan joined them, the standard of play of the Pietermaritzburg’s semi-professional cricket outfit, which also serves as a feeder to the Dolphins, has improved a great deal.

Inland’s form in the three-day format of the game was also worth writing home about as they were also in with a chance of winning the competition right until the late stages.

Speaking to The Witness last month, Inland coach Morgan felt that his side had been the most consistent provincial side in the country as they were competitive in all three formats.

Western Province, the winners of the three-day competition could only manage 12th place — out of 14 teams — in the 50-over game, while they were five points behind Inland at the top of the coastal pool of the T20 table.

Maritzburg’s Inland also outshone the Durban-based KwaZulu-Natal in all three competitions.

For Morgan, the final of the CSA Provincial T20 Challenge was the one they had been waiting for. “The guys are keyed up and ready to do their best on the field,” said Morgan.

For the final, Inland will have players such as star batsman Sarel Erwee and pace bowler Craig Alexander available. Other players who have been impressive this season include Kyle Nipper, who won the Ram Slam T20 with the Dolphins, Mbasa Gqadushe, the bowling wicketkeeper, and skipper Shane Burger.

Spinner Tabraiz Shamsi and paceman Matthew Pillans will not be available for the game as they are currently on Sunfoil Series duty with the Dolphins against the Knights in Bloemfontein.

Speaking about the call-ups of his players to the Dolphins, Morgan said: “The call-up by the Dolphins is a huge credit to the team and Inland. It also means other players have stepped up and I’m happy to say I have every confidence in the squad to pull this one through.”

Morgan named a strong 14-man squad for the final, and a decision on the 11 that take the field will be made this morning ahead of the game, which starts at 11 am.

KZN Impi squad: Tyler Lortan, Abram Ndlovu, SJ Erwee, Matthew Hulett, Kyle Nipper, Shane Burger (c), Ruan Pretorius, Brad Moses, Mbasa Gqadushe, Craig Alexander, Yusuf Abdulla, Cyril Mthimkhulu, Kyle Heyns, Nic Hendrie.

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