Standard squeek home in T20 cliff-hanger
With the 2012/13 KwaZulu-Natal Inland Cricket Union season slowly heading for closure, Standard signaled its intentions for a clean-sweep of the silverware by claiming the KFC T20 Natal Cup at The Oval.
The final on Saturday evening followed a shortened semi-final with Midlands outgunning Young Natalians, and Standard advancing after a forfeit by Lancaster.
The final was a close affair with Standard holding off a charging finish by the Midlands middle order. But the heroics of Man-of-the-Match Matt Hulett (46 not out) was not enough to overhaul the 110 target, with the composite side going down narrowly by four runs.
The Standard scoreboard was dominated by skipper Kyle Nipper who struck 34 while Mike Colder was the pick of the bowlers with three for 29 runs.
The performance of Midlands surprised friend and foe at a rain-affected Oval. First the team made up of players in the midlands league restricting the fancied Standard batting line-up that includes a number of Inland regulars to 110, and then giving the favourites a scare with a hard-hitting chase with Hulett in a particularly unforgiving mood.
The Standard camp is, however savouring the win as the squad coached by Robbie Coutts prepares to clinch more trophies this season.
Speaking at the prize-giving, KZNICU president Yunus Bhamjee paid tribute to the teams, and thanked sponsors KFC for its support.
The T20 finals followed the hugely popular KFM mini-cricket festival that saw more than 800 children from across the region under the auspices of the KZNICU participating.