'Battle royal' at Kingsmead

2011-10-12 00:00

HOPING to win their first game of the SuperSport Series, the Dolphins expect this week’s encounter with the Knights at Kingsmead to be a “battle royal”.

Speaking at the Dolphins’ season launch yesterday, coach Graham Ford said the team have moved on from the disappointment of losing to the Titans at the Pietermaritzburg Oval, and that they are ready for the Knights match, which begins tomorrow.

Dolphins vice-captain Daryn Smit told The Witness that bouncing back against the Knights is key.

“It is our first game at Kingsmead, which is a wicket that the team enjoys playing on.

“So we need to focus on what we did wrong last week and improve on that,” said Smit.

The match could be characterised by personal battles, which promises to add spice to the occasion.

One such battle is the return of Quinton Friend, who is this time turning out for the Knights.

Friend played for the Dolphins last season, but an alleged contractual misunderstanding led to his departure.

He has been performing below standard for the Knights, finishing with figures of 0/51 and 2/19 against the Lions last week, and 0/64 and 1/27 against the Titans in the first match of the series.

Another exciting match-up is that of Dolphins opening batsman Divan van Wyk against his older brother, Morné. While Divan has been in good form this season, Morné has struggled with the bat, scoring only two and 13 against the Lions.

Fast bowler Kyle Abbott said there is always a fun atmosphere when the brothers come up against each other.

“There is always a bit of playful banter when Divan and Morné come up against each other. It should be interesting because Divan is in good form at the moment,” said Abbott.

Abbott said he hopes the pitch will play well over the four days, but he would not comment about the type of pitch that is being prepared.

However, he did confirm is that Imran Tahir is available for selection.

Although Abbott has not taken as many wickets as he would like, he is relishing his role as a pressure bowler.

He said, “Obviously I would like to take more wickets, but I am also enjoying focusing on line and length, which frustrates batsmen and lets the bowlers at the other end do the necessary damage.

“Look at the first match against the Lions: I was applying pressure at one end while Robbie Frylinck was taking wickets at the other.”

• jonathan.faurie@witness.co.za

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