Midlands surprise Standard out in Premier 60

2009-11-04 00:00

THERE was something of an upset in KZN Inland Premier 60 matches on Sunday when home team Midlands edged reigning champs Standard by one wicket at Eston.

The outcome went down to the wire, Midlands reaching the target with 10 deliveries of their allotted 60 overs to spare.

Brent Bragge (43) and Mick Hampson (55) starred for Standard with the bat, while former Inland captain Murray Hampson (3-29) did the large share of the damage with the ball in the champions’ 188 for nine. A three-pronged response with the bat by Clint Lock (41), skipper Scott Hosking (33) and Gareth Dukes (39*) was just enough to steer Midlands to victory, despite the efforts of Standard seamers Marcel Frentzel (3-48) and Darren Izzard (3-36).

For the rest, the resurgent Zingari slumped to an astonishing 10-wicket defeat at Varsity, while the desperate Young Natalians first XI were involved in another mismatch against one of the “big guns”, in this case Lancashire.

Another shocker in Durban was runaway KZN Coastal leaders Crusaders slaughtering African Warriors by 262 runs.

The Warriors initiative, intended to promote the development of promising black African cricketers by exposing them to top-level club cricket, has clearly not worked. Indeed, Warriors have been protec­ted from relegation for some time — and that has clearly not had the desired effect either, as the outcome from season to season remains desperate.

The Inland log has not yet been made available, yet the “African Warriors scenario” of the weaker clubs trailing badly is just as likely as the season progresses.

Possibly a better move than persisting with the current situation is the option of twinning the weaker clubs’ first team squads with those in the stronger clubs’ first XI group, thereby affording promising players from the weaker outfit a quality training environment in which to develop their individual skills.

Obviously there are a number of other factors that must come into play — like the relevant cricket union funding the strong clubs further, with the proviso that they are held accountable for that cash injection.

One proviso, for example, would be for the union to improve the stronger clubs’ practice facilities and finance a quality coach for each club — that person’s primary responsibility, clearly identified by the cricket body, being to uplift the skills levels of the weaker club’s first XI players so that when the “weaker” team goes into weekend matches they will be a more competitive force.

The weaker club’s “social” players, less inclined to attend practi­ces than their first XI club-mates, could carry on as usual, as would the stronger club’s cricketers who play for the fun of it.

Further, the stronger club’s faci­lities must provide for both clubs to have “academy” teams of upand-coming schoolboys (and girls) to have specialist attention from the union’s designated coach, or coaches.

This are simply suggestions, open to debate, although what is certain is that the current club structure status quo must not be allowed to stumble along anymore. If, that is, there is any hope that the Inland province in particular is to prosper — and not continue its decline — at provincial first-class and agegroup level.

Competitive, hard-fought Premier League club matches on the lines of the Midlands versus Stan­dard encounter bring out the best in provincial players when they step up to the higher level.



Inland Premier: Zingari 105 (Dustin Chaplin 4-28, Prosper Tsvanhu 3-33). Varsity 109/0 (Tafadzwa Chihota 49*). Varsity won by 10 wkts.

Northern Districts vs K&L. Rained out.

Standard 188/9 (Brent Bragge 43, Mick Hampson 55; Murray Hampson 3-29). Midlands 190/9 (Clint Lock 41, Gareth Dukes 39*; Marcel Frenzel 3-48, Darren Izzard 3-36). Midlands won by 1 wkt.

Young Natalians 38 (Jomo Mbili 3-6, Renoir Patricks 2-4, Kivershan Padayachee 2-7, Clement Mvovo 2-12). Lancashire 41/4 (Qasim Khurshid 2-15, Sohail Ashraf 2-7). Lancs won by 6 wkts.

Sunday fixtures: Std vs K&L (Wanderers), Var vs Natalians (Var), Mid vs ND (Eston), Zingari vs Lancs (Collegians).

Coastal Premier: Crusaders 388/5 (G. Hodnett 139, M. Alexander 78, E. Springer 102*). African Warriors 126. Saders won by 262 runs.

Delta 122 (S. Simpson 35, W. Lombard 49; D. Horsefall 3-39). Berea Rovers 123/3 (S. Erwee 54*). Rovers won by 7 wkts.

Chatsworth Sporting 283/5 (D. Miller 85, C. Chetty 101*). Topham 100 (M. Saliwa 4-40). Sporting won by 183 runs.

Chatsworth United 212/8 (A. Thomas 52, M. Jafta 31; C. Flowers 4-59). DHS Rhythm 140 (A. Kadwa 62; T. Pillay 4-32). United won by 72 runs.

Pinetown 181 (K. Zondo 39; R. Bedford 6-56). Tertiary 183/8 (A. Tweedie 52*, R. Bedford 36*; K. Zondo 4-48, K. Buckthorpe 3-74). Tertiary won by 2 wkts.

*Selected matches only for Coastal League

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