Dolphins clash set for run fest

2009-11-04 00:00

THE Dolphins and the Lions will be desperate for a win in tonight’s MTN40 clash in Potchefstroom.

The Lions, led by Neil Mckenzie and with a host of talented batsmen, have walked into two form sides in their previous two games.

Against the Cobras, in the opening match of the competition, they were smashed all over the park by JP Duminy and Andrew Puttick.

No sooner had they gathered themselves from that introduction than they ran into an imperious Morne van Wyk century as the Eagles piled up even more agony in the Free State.

So Mckenzie’s charges simply have to win if they are to launch any sort of challenge on a precious semi-final spot.

The Dolphins, on the other hand, are smarting from being pipped by the Warriors in their only fixture so far.

The return of big-hitting Loots Bosman is most welcome for Graham Ford’s charges, and they will be looking to the Protea hotshot to set them on their way to a formidable total.

Senwes Park has always smiled on the willow-wielders, so we can expect plenty of runs tonight.

For the Dolphins to get over the edge, they will have to bowl a lot better to a Lions side that thrives on creative shot-making.

Mckenzie is an excellent practitioner off the short ball, while the explosive middle order is made up of the exciting Vaughn van Jaarsveld, the experienced Zander de Bruyn and the former KZN prodigy Jonathan Vandiar, who is yet to fire in the competition.

The Dolphins, outside of the proven Bosman, do not have quite as many options in this regard.

What may have contributed to the loss against the Warriors is an inability to find an extra gear when it mattered most.

The Lions have an inexperienced attack, and it is here that the Dolphins can cash in.

The Eagles tore into the likes of Aaron Phangiso and Werner Coetsee last time around, and the Dolphins will hope that Hashim Amla can mark his final match for them before national duty with a lengthy stay at the crease.

Amla is likely to open, a position that he will probably occupy for the Proteas now that Herschelle Gibbs has left the building.

Unorthodox and wristy, Amla could be the perfect foil for the dashing Bosman and a good start will help settle what is a patchy middle-order.

One hopes that Ford will give one of the youngsters a proper go in the top order, as both David Miller and Cameron Delport are good players of spin.

With the Cobras next on the agenda, the Dolphins would do well to take a full haul of points down to Cape Town for their next assignment.

SQUADS

Dolphins

Imraan Khan (captain), Loots Bosman, Hashim Amla, Ahmed Amla, David Miller, Andrew Hall, Cameron Delport, Daryn Smit, Johann Louw, Quinton Friend, Yusuf Abdulla, Alfonso Thomas.

Highveld Lions

Alviro Petersen, Jean Symes, Jimmy Kgamadi, Neil McKenzie (captain), Vaughn van Jaarsveld, Jonathan Vandiar, Zander de Bruyn, Thami Tsolekile, Werner Coetsee, Cliffe Deacon, Monty Panesar, Aaron Phangiso, André Nel, Friedel de Wet.

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