Swash­buck­ling pair do it for KZN

Young guns fire away to keep Zim out of loop

Daily Dispatch - - Sport - By ROSS ROCHE

SAREL Er­wee and Lefa Mosena laid the plat­form for KwaZulu-Natal In­land to claim a nervy three­wicket win over Zim­babwe in the open­ing match of the fourth leg of the 2017 Africa Cup T20 com­pe­ti­tion at Buf­falo Park yes­ter­day af­ter­noon.

Er­wee cracked a su­perb 80 and Mosena a solid 46 on their way to a 110 open­ing part­ner­ship, be­fore a flurry of wick­ets then saw In­land lose seven wick­ets for 56 runs as they stum­bled over the line with 11 balls to spare.

“I am happy with the re­sult, to win your first game in the Africa Cup is a mas­sive bonus, I sup­pose the dis­ap­point­ing thing for us is that we did want the bonus point,” said In­land coach Shane Burger.

“Sarel and Lefa got us in a great po­si­tion to get the bonus point, so it is re­ally dis­ap­point­ing that we didn't, but it is good to see some of the younger heads at the end fin­ish the game off.”

Chas­ing a 166 to win after win­ning the toss and in­sert­ing Zim­babwe to bat, Er­wee and Mosena set off at a ter­rific rate, scor­ing at 10 runs an over to notch up a 110 runs in the 11th over, with Mosena then first out, bowled by Ru­gare Ma­girira for 46 off 34 balls (5x4).

Lower or­der big hit­ter Kyle Nip­per was then pushed up the or­der to num­ber three, but after work­ing his way to six off 10 balls he was then caught by Neville Madziva try­ing to go for a big shot off the bowl­ing of Ains­ley Ndlovu.

Er­wee's sparkling in­nings then came to an end in the 15th over, go­ing for an­other big hit see­ing him caught by Tino­tenda Mu­tombodzi off the bowl­ing of Nathan Waller for 80 of 43 balls, with seven bound­aries and five max­i­mums.

With the score on 140/3 and the ask­ing rate un­der a run a ball it looked as though In­land would cruise home, but some rash shots from the mid­dle and lower or­der saw four more wick­ets tumble, with Ndlovu pick­ing up two of them to re­turn fig­ures of 3/29, be­fore So­hail Mah­moud cracked the win­ning boundary in the 19th over.

“There is a bit of weather about this weekend, so de­cided we needed to get a bonus point and a good run-rate in the first game to put some pres­sure on the teams play­ing sec­ond, so the plan was to go hard up­front but we just couldn’t fin­ish it off,” said Er­wee.

“I have been hit­ting the ball quite nicely in the warm-up games and prac­tice nets so I was feel­ing con­fi­dent com­ing into the game, so I am very happy with how it started and hope­fully it con­tin­ues over the weekend.”

In the Zim­babwe in­nings after a fast start In­land re­stricted them to 165/7 at the end of their 20 overs.

Timycen Maruma was the star with the bat, crack­ing an en­ter­tain­ing 81 off 55 balls (9x4; 2x6), shar­ing part­ner­ships of 62 with opener In­no­cent Kaia (25) and 51 with cap­tain Peter Moore (36) to set them up for a big score. But some im­pres­sive late in­nings bowl­ing from In­land, in par­tic­u­lar left-arm spin­ner Nduduzo Mfoza who picked up three wick­ets for eight runs in two overs, helped limit Zim­babwe to a chase-able tar­get.

Pic­ture: MICHAEL PINYANA

IN LINE OF FIRE: Bor­der quickie Akhona Mnyaka sends down a de­liv­ery to Boland opener Pi­eter Malan dur­ing their Africa Cup T20 clash at Buf­falo Park yes­ter­day. At the time of go­ing to print Boland were on 28 for no wicket off four overs, with the play­ers hav­ing been pulled off the field for rain

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