Abbott has been the key to Dolphins’ undefeated run in the Ram Slam T20s

2014-01-17 00:00

DOLPHINS bowling kingpin Kyle Abbott is one of the reasons the Dolphins head into tonight’s Ram Slam T20 clash against the Warriors in Port Elizabeth undefeated after two matches.

In the matches against the Titans at Newlands and the Knights in Kimberley, Abbott’s opening two-over spells first up and his bowling at the death has been a massive factor in restricting the opposing batsman and transferring the pressure onto the men wielding the willow.

He has been miserly up front and found good line and length late on to prevent any big hitting down the order. It comes from him being a major force in domestic cricket in the past season, where he has established himself as one of the country’s most respected bowlers, on the brink of adding to his solitary Test for the Proteas.

But Abbott is a bowler who is just going about his business, putting in solid performances for the team and himself.

“My motto is to keep it simple, especially in this format of the game where the bowlers get the short end of the stick,” he said. “The key is not to over- complicate matters and focus on a decent line and length, with the good old-fashioned yorker a vital weapon in the arsenal.”

Abbott has been doing just that and if he has missed his length slightly, his low full tosses are not easy to dispatch to the boundary.

“When I run in, I aim for the keeper’s feet. I don’t worry too much about missing the mark as I would rather bowl a low full toss than something which benefits the batsman,” he said.

“There’s no secrets about bowling yorkers at the death. It’s proved a point in our two matches to date when the Titans’ David Wiese and Dean Elgar of the Knights couldn’t get the ball away, despite being well set and scoring at well above a run a ball.”

Driving Abbott on is his belief that although there’re only 20 overs avail­able, a side can be bowled out in that time. “I have the same attitude in this format than I have in any game I play,” he said. “Be aggressive, take wickets and a side can be dealt within 20 overs or less. It’s vital to strike up front and get early wickets.”

Abbott recognises the support of his fellow bowlers, saying they had operated well as a unit.

“Leaking runs in this format is the nature of the game but the guys have worked together and it’s shown in our results so far,” he said.

Other than David Miller doing duty for the Proteas’ T20 and One-Day squad, the Dolphins, according to Abbott, “have the most settled side in the competition”, with the same players on the team-sheet and no disruption to a settled unit.

“As bowlers, we are doing our job as are the batsmen. They are scoring the runs and if I don’t have to bat the entire competition I won’t be too concerned,” he said.

Today’s match starts at 6 pm.

• On Sunday, the Dolphins have their first home Ram Slam T20 match of the season at Kingsmead, meeting the Cobras. Selectors have stuck with the same squad for the match starting at noon.

Gates open at 11 am and tickets range from R60 (adults) and R30 (pensioners and children).

The match will be broadcast on SuperSport Two.

Dolphins Squad: Prenelan Subrayen, Kyle Nipper, Morne van Wyk (capt), Craig Alexander, Keshav Maharaj, Kyle Abbott, Daryn Smit, Cameron Delport, Robbie Frylinck, Khaya Zondo, David Miller, Cody Chetty and Vaughn van Jaarsveld.

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