Can the Dolphins surprise the critics?

2011-02-02 00:00

THE KZN Dolphins begin their Pro20 campaign tonight, when they tackle the Knights in Bloemfontein.

The competition has produced cliff-hanger upon cliff-hanger thus far, with the first three matches going to the final ball before being decided, and the Dolphins will be hoping to keep their nerve when things get tight.

Happily, they welcome back the big-hitting duo of David Miller and Loots Bosman, the former having missed out on World Cup selection, while the latter has now recovered from his hand injury.

Their ability to hit a “long ball” is priceless, as has already been proved in this season’s games.

“The finishes in each game have been amazing,” Bosman said from the team’s hotel in Bloemfontein last night.

“It just shows the importance of having wickets in hand at the end, and we will need to do the same when we play the Knights.”

The Knights, even without their banker, Morné van Wyk, are still a dangerous outfit.

The multi-purpose skills of Ryan McLaren — especially in the shorter formats of the game — are well documented, while exciting young players like Rilee Rossouw will punish any loose stuff from the largely inexperienced Dolphins attack.

Quinton Friend has been left out — a questionable call when one considers his experience — and the likes of Kyle Abbott and Mthokozisi Shezi will have to keep calm heads in the latter overs with the ball.

“It is tough on ‘Quinny’, but someone has to miss out,” Bosman explained.

Bosman got injured at a pivotal stage during the MTN40 campaing, but says he is finding his form again.

“I got a few hits during the warm-up games we played in the last week, and now I just want to get the team off to good starts.

“There are huge incentives for us to do well in this competition, massive.”

Certainly, the passage to the dollar-crammed Champions League is a tempting one, and the Dolphins will want to finish off a topsy-turvy season on a high.

It seems all the franchises are keener than ever to make the final, and the result has been nail-biting thrillers across the country.

The Dolphins, rated as underdogs in a competition that has heavyweights like the Titans and the Warriors, will be hoping to surprise all, starting with the Knights tonight.

Squad:

Imraan Khan (Captain), David Miller, Devon Conway, Vaughn van Jaarsveld, Ahmed Amla, Loots Bosman, Daryn Smit, Kyle Abbott, Mthokozisi Shezi, Devon Conway, Jon Kent and Keshav Maharaj.

TV - from 17.45pm on SuperSport 2 tonight.

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