Building character on the crease
The vagariesof first class cricket were amply illustrated by the senior Inland team’s double header against North West at The Oval the past weekend. Having fallen one wicket short of beating the powerful North West side in their CSA three-day match, Inland were outgunned in the one-day encounter on Sunday.
A defiant last-wicket stand of 36 runs by Graham Hume (26) and AttieMaposa (8) helped Inland to a modest 217 in their first innings that was underpinned by SJ Erwee’s valuable knock of 81.
But it was the bowling of Inland’s Ruan Pretorius that had The Oval abuzz – known as the Professor, Pienaar smashed through the North West batting line-up with an astounding eight wickets for 31 runs to dismiss the visitors for 105.
Pushing for an outright win, Inland declared its second innings at 233 thanks to contributions from NicHendrie (86), Brad Moses (32) and Imran Khan (27) and Kyle Nopper (27) to set North West a victory target of 346.
To their credit, the visitors from Potchefstroomtook up the challenge to produce one of the closest, and most entertaining, run chases in the competition. Telling contributions by the middle order made for a compelling contest with spinner Nipper working hard for his five scalps (5/82) and supported by AttieMaposa (two) and a wicket each by TabraizShamsi and first innings hero Pretorius.
Bad light brought an end to the exciting match with North West needing 14 runs and Inland requiring one wicket to win. The hosts deservedly won the points stakes and currently occupies third spot on the log.
The one-day game was a complete reversal with North West dominating both the bowling and batting. Electing to bowl first, some costly drops by Inland allowed North West to post an intimidating 293.
The home team’s lacklustre batting batting matched the overcast conditions for Inland to go down by 128 runs. But coach Grant Morgan doesn’t read too much into the result, pointing out that coming to terms with disappointments is part of the game and that the real challenge is for the squad to regroup and face up the Free State in Bloemfontein this weekend.
“This is a young, motivated side and they know that have let themselves down, and the only way back is through a commanding performance on the field,” he said.