Spirited Standard beat log leaders Midlands

2010-02-25 00:00

THE key KZN Inland Premier League fixture last Sunday saw reigning champs Standard come back from the brink to beat log leaders Midlands by 33 runs.

Winning the toss at Wanderers, Standard chose to bat, believing the pitch would crumble in the afternoon. It backfired as Midlands’s Darren Mortimer and Kimeshan Chetty had Standard reeling at 45 for five.

Yet a spirited fightback by Juan Pretorius and Scott Tarr, aided by a mature appreciation of the situation from schoolboy tail-ender Marcel Frentzel, saw Standard post a defendable 187.

Despite a below-par outing in the field, a fine all-round bowling performance maintained pressure on the Midlands batsmen at both ends, and Standard’s left-arm duo of seamer Sean Izzard and spinner Morné van Vuuren got a brace apiece as the visitors fell 33 runs short.

On another front, there seems to be some uncertainty among certain readers as to the thrust of my article last week. I am mandated by The Witness to write on KZN Inland senior provincial cricket as well as the Premier League, and accordingly the piece referred entirely to those portions of the puzzle. Any reference to schools’ cricket or any other issue mentioned must be taken in the context of that theme alone.

Don’t allow an emotional reaction to get in the way of reason. As South Western Districts CEO Albertus Kennedy confirmed in the previous article, a province’s flagship team is their senior side. This is not about individuals. The cold facts are that, as a unit, the Inland men’s side have won one three-day fixture out of 21 in the last three seasons of first-class cricket. That statistic tells a story on its own of how Premier League and development cricket, among other factors such as the lack of an academy, is failing the province. This past weekend, for example, only two of four Premier League matches lasted more than 90 overs in a 60-over per side format — the others 52 and 62 overs — and the provincial players are now expected to go into a tough three-dayer against Gauteng where a potential 300-plus overs are scheduled? Come on guys, who are we kidding here?

Detractors have short memories. This writer has praised Inland to the heavens on the few occasions they have done well in recent years, and as an “Inland man”, born and bred, it gives me no pleasure in reflecting on the unpleasant side-effects of a clearly defective system that is seeing the province fall behind their rivals season by season.

The writing has been on the wall for a number of years and this supporter fears that it is almost too late to pull things right unless radical surgery is effected without delay.

My gratitude goes to the readers who have congratulated me on having the guts to tell it like it is. My heartfelt plea goes out to the rest to wake up before the downward spiral plunges the province into even more desperate times.

Inland Premier standings (played 11 unless stated): Midlands 81,6 pts; Varsity 79 pts; Standard 67 pts; Zingari 59 pts; Lancashire 52 pts; K&L 23 pts; Young Natalians (10) 20 pts; Northern Districts (10) 8 pts.

Sunday fixtures: Std v Lancs (Wand); Var v K&L (Var); Mid v YN (Eston); Zingari v ND (Coll).


Standard 187 (J Pretorius 43, S Tarr 31, D Mortimer 4-39, K Chetty 3-55). Midlands 154 (D Watson 44, S Izzard 2-9, M van Vuuren 2-28). Std won by 33 runs.

Zingari 158 /8 (T Drummond 88, B Moses 2-19, N Harridave 2-19). Varsity 162/4 (Moses 72, O Humphries 29*, G Addicott 28). Varsity won by 6 wkts.

Young Natalians 75 (B Barends 5-16, C Mvovo 5-16). Lancashire 77/1 (T Essack 44*, B Govender 32*). Lancs won by 9 wkts.

K&L 114 (S Fourie 22, G Stephen 21*; D Ryland 4-26). Northern Districts 81 (A Mungroo 7-28). K&L won by 33 runs.

KZN Coastal: Chatsworth Sporting 205/9 (D. Reddy 73; M. Shezi 4-49, L. Dladla 4-71). African Warriors 136 (M. Shezi 41; D. Reddy 4-30). Sporting won by 69 runs.

Rovers 194 (B. Hector 70; K. Buckthorpe 4-33). Pinetown 197/3 (K. Zondo 100*). Ptn won by 7 wkts.

Chatsworth United 235/7 (N. Mahomed 84; K. Maharaj 4-73). Delta 135 (T. Pillay 6-38). United won by 100 runs.

DHS Rhythm 207/6 (A. Amla 70). Crusaders 202/8 (N. Dexter 72; C. Flowers 4-64). Rhythm won by 5 runs.

Topham 259/7 (K. Nagan 54; C. Hauptfleisch 4-72). Tertiary 236/6 (C. Hauptfleisch 68, A. Tweedie 70*; M. Patel three for 34). Topham won by 23 runs. * Selected individual scores.

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