Dolphins and Sharks battle it out for charity

2013-01-11 00:00

BATTLE lines have been drawn between the Dolphins and Sharks ahead of this Sunday’s Pick n Pay Durban Challenge T20 clash at Kingsmead.

Last year’s inaugural event drew a sellout crowd, as the Dolphins squeaked home by a few runs in an event which, while all about good fun, has proceeds going to various charities.

Speaking to the press at Kingsmead yesterday, Sharks captain Keegan Daniel said his men are up to the challenge and had been hard at work in preparation for the showdown. “We have been working on our weaknesses and paying attention to the fact that we need to score runs quickly,” he said. He added that his team has no particular strategy, but a chat to some of the batsmen could make a difference.

Daniel said: “It’s all played in a good spirit, but we need our batters to realise this is only 20 overs and a run a ball is no good. We have some useful hitters in the ranks — Pat [Lambie] got a solid 50 last year, Butch [James] is back with us and Franco [van der Merwe] can turn his arm over a bit. I am still trying to get as many players involved as possible, attempting to give everyone a chance, especially when it comes to fielding. Last year, I remember how hot it got out there and some rotating this time around will give the fans the chance to see their local heroes.”

Dolphins captain Daryn Smit said his men welcomed the opportunity to relax, and charity was the overall winner on the day. “More than anything, this match strengthens the relationship between us and the Sharks, cricket and rugby. There is good banter and plenty of chirps on the field, and we feel confident of sneaking another win.”

One advantage the Sharks will enjoy is having 15 fielders and the Dolphins bowlers only being allowed to run in off five paces. However, Daniel still believes his batsmen need to up the ante, saying: “Our own ‘Mr Cricket’ Jacques Botes, who opened for us last year and will probably do the same on Sunday, needs to realise that boundaries count in this game and working the ball around, doing the run-a-ball thing, will be pointless.”

Smit acknowledged that his batsmen would have to clear the ropes to pile on the runs. “These Sharks lads are big and occupy big spaces. Having 15 of them fielding is daunting, as everywhere you look, there they are. We have to hit high, far and handsome to get runs, and this is where players like Dave Miller will come to the fore,” he said.

On the Dolphins side, cricket development benefits from the day, while Liv Village in Verulam is the Sharks’ chosen charity.

Sharks assistant coach Grant Bashford is the team selector for the Sharks, and all is not lost with referee Stu Berry, one of the umpires on the day, with Sagren Naidoo the other.

Gates open at 10 am on Sunday, with the match starting at noon. There are activities for children, plus autograph opportunities.

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