THE KwaZulu-Natal Inland Premier League burst wide open on Sunday after reigning club cricket champs Varsity lost their second consecutive match.
A focused Zingari first XI spearheaded by Gareth Brown beat the campus-based side by four wickets, while the powerful Standard line-up leapt up to within nine points of the students with a game in hand when they beat the high-riding Midlands country cricketers by five wickets.
Zingari restricted Varsity to 227 in their allotted 50 overs with Lyndon Brown and Jon Anderson doing the damage with the ball. Anderson and Brown then completed fine all-round performances with half centuries to go with Lyndon’s older brother Gareth’s 36 to notch up a memorable victory. After what seemed to be a shaky start to the season following the loss of several prominent players, the Brown brothers appear to be carrying on the legacy of father Harry, a club legend and former captain who is now president of Zingari and still puts in sterling work preparing the Collegians pitch for matches.
The Van Vuuren brothers, Morne and Andre, were in good form for Standard on Sunday, picking up runs while Andre also weighed in with the ball. It was Standard’s varied bowling attack that reduced Midlands to 104 for nine before they put on 40 for the last wicket. But this was never going to be enough considering Standard’s depth and former SA U19 World Cup player Clint Bowyer top-scored in a win that could see Varsity’s monopoly on the Premier League title under real threat for the first time in ages.
Elsewhere, KZN Inland batsman Bradley Moses hit a century and took four wickets in Lancashire’s 44-run win over Sunfoil Orientals.
Gareth Basson hit a whirlwind 30 including four sixes to rocket the Lancs total along, while Kevershan Padayachee’s noteworthy 97 wasn’t adequately supported by those around him to haul in the target successfully. And again, a hat-trick by admirable Young Natalians and Inland opening bowler Qasim Khurshid could not prevent newcomers K&L from notching up an historic first Premier League victory as Natalians were heavily penalised for a slow over rate.
Meanwhile, Inland U19 lost their KZN derby with Coastal U19 by five wickets with 28 balls to spare despite a 92 from David Miller and Byron Ovenstone’s 57.
SCORES IN BRIEF
Varsity 227 for 9 (Andrew McIntosh 38, Oliver Humphries 36, Gerry Penford 32; Lyndon Brown 2 for 37, Jon Anderson 2 for 37). Zingari 228 for 6 (Anderson 59, Lyndon Brown 54*, Gareth Brown 36; Olly Humphries 2 for 38, Narvaar Harridave 2 for 55). Zingari won by 4 wickets.
Midlands 149 all out (Andre van Vuuren 2 for 22, Kyle Nipper 2 for 41, Brent Kay 2 for 25, Darren Izzard 2 for 26). Standard 150 for 5 (Andre van Vuuren 33, Clint Bowyer 46, Morne van Vuuren 37). Standard won by 5 wickets.
Lancashire 235 for 8 (Brad Moses 104, Ezra Fynn 31, Gareth Basson 30; Tafazwa Chiota 3 for 53, Sashen Dorasamy 2 for 19). Orientals 191 all out (Kevershan Padayachee 97; Brad Moses 4 for 32, Jody Harper 3 for 39). Lancashire won by 44 runs.
Young Natalians 160 all out (Sher Khan 25, M Nadeem 49; Sohail Razzack 5 for 12, Naveen Ramnarain 2 for 29). K&L 129 for 9 – 60 runs penalty for slow over rate – (Sean Fourie 26, Udeshan Govender 48). K&L won by 1 wicket.
U19 Provincial: KZN Inland 228/8 in 45 overs (Dave Miller 92, Byron Ovenstone 57; Kyle Buckthorpe 3-48). KZN Coastal 230/4 in 40.2 overs (Keshav Maharaj 69*, Cody Chetty 33*, J Manson 57, Nash Govender 38). Coastal won by 6 wickets.