Dolphins banking on blue skies

2009-12-10 00:00

THE KZN Dolphins will go into today’s SuperSport Series clash against the Warriors buoyed by their long overdue win against the Lions recently.

That win, on the back of a composed century by Loots Bosman, was described by coach Graham Ford as an excellent team performance, and one that he hopes will be repeated this week.

“Obviously Loots stood out for his fine knock, but there were a lot of other fine contributions from a lot of players, and that is very encouraging,” Ford told The Witness last night.

The returning former Kent minder has been on a crusade to cultivate the next generation of Dolphins’ stars, and he is happy with the progress.

“It’s been very good to see the younger guys grab their opportunities and put in some key performances when the team has needed them,” Ford enthused.

The future of KZN cricket is a hot topic at the moment, and the input of the highly rated Richard Pybus behind the scenes has not gone unnoticed.

“He is working with those guys that we hope will one day be pushing for Dolphins spots, and I think it can only benefit those players to get a chance to work with him,” Ford added.

The Dolphins squad will have to make do without the services of Hashim Amla after he was handed a one- match ban for dissent recently.

“Hash’s suspension obviously is a blow, but it opens up an opportunity for someone else to stake a claim,” Ford said.

The lucky recipient this time is former SA under-19 wicketkeeper batsman Bradley Barnes. The slightly built Barnes has been in fine form for the KZN Coastals side, and Ford added that his expertise behind the stumps is a massive bonus.

“Barnes is an exceptional keeper as well, and that gives us the added confidence when we look to use Daryn Smit’s bowling later in the game.”

Sadly, the Dolphins’ return to Kingsmead seems to have brought back the bleak weather, much to Ford’s consternation.

“I’ve been keeping an eye on it and it doesn’t look too good, I’m afraid.

“But we can only control what we do, and if the rain comes we will have to deal with that.”

The Dolphins, by some incredible slice of bad fortune, have already had three games curtailed by the elements. Draws against the Titans away, and then the Eagles in Maritzburg and the Cobras at Kingsmead have seen Ford’s charges struggle to build any momentum.

“We were in strong positions in some of those games, so it has been really frustrating at times.

“That’s why we have not really bothered to look at the table, because we know that if we focus on the processes that we are working on, the results should take care of themselves.”

Dolphins Squad: Imraan Khan (captain), Loots Bosman, Hashim Amla, Ahmed Amla, Cameron Delport, Jon Kent, David Miller, Daryn Smit, Johann Louw, Quinton Friend, Yusuf Abdulla, Mthokozisi Shezi, Bradley Barnes

Coach: Graham Ford

FIXTURES

Starting today: Dolphins v Warriors (Kingsmead, 9.30 am), Lions v Eagles (Wanderers, 10 am), Cape Cobras v Titans (Boland Park, 10 am)

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