KWAZULU-NATAL Inland cricket coach Grant Morgan was proud of how his boys responded to win Sunday’s CSA Provincial One-Day Competition match against Gauteng in Johannesburg.
After losing the CSA Provincial Three-Day Competition game by six wickets the day before, Morgan’s boys came back and trounced Gauteng by a massive 88 runs.
“We were disappointed [after the loss], but we batted very well and Sarel Erwee and Tyler Lortan made a big partnership. Our bowling was also good, and we beat a really good Gauteng side,” Morgan told The Witness yesterday.
By beating Gauteng, who remain second on the log, Inland did neighbours, the table-topping KZN Coastal, side a favour. But the win also moved them up to eighth.
“It was a great win. It now launches us up the log,” Morgan said.
After a slow start that saw both openers — Brad Moses and Suhail Razack — removed by the 12th over, 21-year-old Lortan joined Erwee at the crease.
The two punished the Gauteng bowlers as they put on a 117-run partnership for the third wicket to put their side on the front foot as Erwee smashed 85 of just 70 balls, with Lortan’s 55 coming off 79 balls.
Ruhan Pretorious (27) and wicketkeeper Mbasa Gqadushe (31) also weighed in with a healthy seventh-wicket partnership of 32 to lead their team to a respectable total.
Gauteng’s chase started off well as they were scoring at a rate higher than the visitors. However, the fact they were losing wickets at regular intervals wasn’t helping them.
With the score at 93/6, Brian Barnard and Richard das Neves tried to get themselves on track with a partnership of 60.
The partnership was broken by former Protea Yusuf Abdulla who removed Das Neves for 23, caught by Kyle Nipper.
Nipper then bowled Barnard for 36 to leave Gauteng in a heap of trouble at 155/8 with about 14 overs remaining.
Gauteng’s tail of Matthew Arnold, Pumelela Matshikwe (1*) and Ethan O’Reilly contributed just one run to the total and saw KZN Inland triumph by 88 runs.
Speaking about the longer version of the game, Morgan said they were confident going into it as they had been unbeaten in that format before facing a Gauteng side that featured some SA Emerging players.
“We had a fighting draw against Griquas the week before, and we played for the win. We were still unbeaten and we were confident.
“After that loss, we had a chat [ahead of the one-day game] and we knew that we are a dangerous side capable of beating anyone. That was a tough team to beat, but we came through. I’m very proud of my players,” Morgan said.
KZN Inland’s three-day game against Easterns at the Pietermaritzburg Oval starts tomorrow, and due to a number of their Dolphins players returning, Morgan was confident that they would have a strong side.