Following an intense round robin phase of the 2019 CSA Provincial T20 Cup, Hollywoodbets KZN Inland prepare to take on Eastern Province in the first of the competitions semi-finals in Benoni on Monday, 23 September before the final on Heritage Day a day later.
It was a strong group phase for Inland who won three of their four games, one win coming with a bonus point. Despite this positive return the competition is so cut-throat that they finished second in their pool.
From there they had to qualify for the semi-final through the best second placed team – or the fourth strongest team after the group phase.
From their four games they beat South Western Districts, Eastern Province and Northern Cape and then fell to Boland in their only loss of the competition so far.
They will face the men from Port Elizabeth again in the play-off on Monday after they beat them by five wickets in their earlier pool clash.
In that game Kyle Nipper took three for 22 in his four overs while Rob Frylinck starred with the bat scoring 51 off 25 balls to see his side past the target of 161 set by EP with six balls to spare.
Unfortunately the Inland side will be without the services of their captain Nipper for the semi-final due to work commitments; however they will have enough experience in their ranks, and Cody Chetty will assume the captaincy role.
In the changes to the squad Tyron Koen comes in as replacement for Nipper while Kushen Kishun replaces Sohail Mahmoud in the squad.
Despite beating Eastern Province in the group phase of the competition Chetty knows that the semi-final will be a different game.
“They have dangerous players across the board and these were the guys that fired when they got their two bonus point wins in the group phase,” Chetty said.
“They have a powerful batting line-up with some good seamers and a strong spin attack so they have their bases covered.”
Inland played consistently good cricket in the pool phase of the competition and were helped by some good performances by a number of players, none more so than Rob Frylinck, who was the stand-out player for the side.
But Chetty believes that the side is a strong unit despite Frylinck’s heroics.
“We were happy with how the youngsters went in the group stage and Rob mentioned to us that those performances were expected of him but we don’t want to lean on him too much in the semi-final.
“I think that with the experience that we have from guys that played and won the 2017 final we have got a good mix to be able to deal with whatever scenario we are given,” he added.
Heading to Benoni for their semi-final the Inland side have the added insight of the Hollywoodbets KZN Coastal team, who played their group games there.
“The Coastal guys said that the wicket had good pace and bounce in it and I think with Easterns in the semi-final we might get more of the same,” he added.
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Hollywoodbets KZN Inland Squad:
Robert Frylinck, Grant Roelofsen, Michael Booth, Gareth Dukes, Cody Chetty (captain), Lwandiswa Zuma, Nduduzo Mfoza, Kushen Kishun, Kerwin Mungroo, Mangaliso Mosehle, Luke Schlemmer, Joel Veeran, Tyron Koen, Coach: Yusuf Abdullah, Assistant Coach: Ahmed Amla, Fitness Manager: Victor Xhoseni.
Monday, 23 September: Semi 1 – Hollywoodbets KZN Inland v Eastern Province
Monday, 23 September: Semi 2 – Easterns v Border
Tuesday, 24 September: Final – Winner Semi 1 v Winner Semi 2