Premier 50: Standard batsmen give Midlands a 10-wicket whitewash

2012-01-12 00:00

THE much-anticipated KZN Inland Premier 50 showdown between reigning champions Standard and challengers Midlands was a mismatch, with last season’s league winners romping home by 10 wickets at the Wanderers Club on Sunday.

Going into the match Midlands were just two points behind the home team, having won a full-house five matches from five outings.

Brent Kay (3-22) starred with the ball in spite of Mario Olivier’s 41 to restrict the Eston-based lads to 156.

Then it was a no-show for the Midlands bowlers as Inland opener Chad Barron racked up an unbeaten 89 to go with Nick Tatham’s 60 not out, to complete the 10-wicket whitewash.

In the other top-four encounter, home side Zingari were no match for long-time former champions Varsity at Collegians Club. Seamer Narvaar Harridave and leg-spinner Tyler Lortan took four wickets apiece as Zingari were shot out for 74.

Lortan (38 not out) then completed the hatchet job as the campus side cruised home by eight wickets.

At the Michael Patricks Oval in Woodlands, home team Lancashire overwhelmed hapless Northern Natal by nine wickets. Zak Ncube (5-14) and Kendrik Basson (3-21) destroyed any hopes the Ladysmith lads had of posting a defendable total and Lancs reached the 85-run target with nine wickets in hand.

At Arbor Park in Newcastle, hosts Northern Districts picked up a maiden win that has been a long time coming, beating the more-fancied Young Natalians by 31 runs.

The playing fields were levelled somewhat as Natalians were without their Inland players, on duty in the T20 defeat of Border, and Districts took full advantage, Leon Solomons (73 not out) and Ali Raza (5-20) their heroes.

At the Premier 50 halfway stage, Standard lead on 29 points with Midlands on 22. However, the Farmers have a game in hand, against Northern Natal, and will be praying that the elements don’t prevent them from cashing in there. Varsity, on 20 points, are still in with a shout, as are Zingari (18 points). Lancs (12 points), Natalians (11), Districts (6) and the Northern Natalians (4) make up the numbers.

Meanwhile, coaches Linda Zondi, Lucky Dladla and KZN Inland’s Paul Atkins must be congratulated for all the hard work that went into producing the best KZN Sunfoil Dolphins squad that has been to Cubs Week.

With nine players who had played two or more previous Cubs Weeks, the squad reportedly had experience, quality, good balance and a great camaraderie about it and these were the contributing factors as to why, with five wins from six starts, the squad produced the best results yet seen by the Dolphins franchise at this tournament.

With the Dolphins hosting SuperSport Series log leaders the Cape Cobras at the PMB Oval from Thursday to Sunday, there are no Inland Premier League fixtures this weekend.

In the only KZN Coastal Premier League match, Greg Ford (63 not out) was the lead contributor in DHS Rhythm’s eight-wicket win over African Warriors, sharing in a match-winning partnership with Dolphins captain Imraan Khan (51 not out).

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