The Hollywoodbets KZN Inland side narrowly lost a thrilling final of the CSA Provincial T20 Cup against Easterns at Willowmoore Park by five runs in a match that went down to the final delivery.
The Inland Blues were set a formidable target of 179 to win the final, and made a valiant effort thanks to a heroic, career-best 79 from Grant Roelofsen.
He fell chasing boundaries in the final over as the home side secured its first ever win in the twenty over competition.
“We are very disappointed,” admitted Inland skipper Cody Chetty after the final. “We played some great cricket through the pool stages to the semi-final and the final.
“We knew they were going to come hard in the powerplay so I am very proud of the bowlers and the fielders to bring it back and we thought that 178 was a gettable total,” he said.
Earlier in the day Inland won the toss and put Easterns in to bat. Openers Wesley Marshall and Yaseen Valli rode their luck, posting 118 for the first wicket as several chances eluded the Inland fielders.
Luke Schlemmer got the breakthrough, getting Valli caught by Kushen Kishun three runs short of his half century.
Robbie Frylinck accounted for the dangerous Jurie Snyman for eleven, bowling him in the sixteenth over as Inland started to throttle back the free flow of runs.
Marshall continued his good form, going to a career-best 87, before he was caught at deep mid-wicket of the bowling of Kerwin Mungroo.
Mungroo got another two quick wickets as Inland wrestled back control of the innings from the home side and stemmed the flow of runs while consistently taking wickets as Easterns ended with 178/6 in their twenty overs.
In their reply the Hollywoodbets KZN Inland side got off to a solid start with openers Cody Chetty and Grant Roelofsen bringing up the 100 in the eleventh over, and comfortably keeping the required run rate in check without taking unnecessary risks.
Chetty was the first wicket to fall, out for 48 in 35 deliveries, caught on the boundary rope in the twelfth over.
A third wicket partnership between Roelofsen and Robbie Frylinck took Inland close, needing 44 off the last 24 deliveries, and the band of KwaZulu-Natal supporters in Benoni for the final began to find their voices.
Going into the final over Inland needed 15 runs and Frylinck obliged with a six off the second delivery before Roelofsen skied an Arnold delivery to end his innings on 79.
Needing eight off two deliveries, Frylick was run out looking for a second run, and the match ended with new batsman Luke Schlemmer having to hit the final delivery of the final for a six to force a super over.
CSA Provincial T20 Cup Final
Willowmoore Park, Benoni
(W. Marshall 87, Y. Valli 47, K.Mungroo 3/25)
Hollywoodbets KZN Inland 173/4
(G.Roelofsen 79, C. Chetty 48, R. Frylinck 32)
Easterns won by 5 runs
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