Dolphins face busy schedule

2014-10-17 00:00

DOLPHINS coach Lance Klusener believes the team could have chased 158 in 19 overs in the One-Day Cup match against the Lions at Kingsmead on Wednesday.

As is the norm in Durban at this time of year, the rain had the final say as it swept across the ground, dropping enough water to prevent further play after one over in the Dolphins innings.

In another ironic twist, no sooner had the match been officially abandoned then it turned into a magnificent evening, the weather gods satisfied they had ruined the fun for the night.

Nonetheless, Klusener backed his men to take on the revised challenge imposed by the rain, confident they could have taken the four points offered for the win.

“We have been playing good, competitive 20-over cricket and definitely fancied ourselves for the chase,” he said.

“It would have been difficult for the Lions to defend as powerplays and fielding restrictions would have applied as for a 50-over game.”

An area of concern for the coach is the death bowling. In both One-Day Cup matches to date — against the Titans last Friday and on Wednesday — the Dolphins bowlers were put to the sword. The Titans posted a total well over 300 and the Lions scored more than 100 runs in the final eight overs.

“It is a problem, especially with Kyle Abbott out the frame and on duty with the Proteas in New Zealand and Australia,” said Klusener. “It’s a matter of the bowlers stepping up and using their skills. They have those skills and they need to learn to nail down a situation when it counts.”

One-Day Cup debutants Sibonelo Makhanya (18) and Rabian Engelbrecht (21) were called upon to bowl, delivering eight overs apiece, their final overs coming when Neil McKenzie and Jean Symes were in complete control.

Up until that stage, they had produced the goods and performed beyond their years, bowling a decent line, length and pace, not giving much away.

They were pasted in those overs, but still finished with credible figures, both giving away less than 40 runs in their eight overs. At the other end, the experienced men — Craig Alexander and Robbie Frylinck — were given the same treatment.

“I thought Makhanya and Engelbrecht were outstanding,” said Klusener. “We know what they bring to the table, Makhanya’s bowling being quite cheeky but effective, while Engelbrecht uses his height to produce a quick ball that has to be respected.”

Today the Dolphins face the Knights in Bloemfontein, where Klusener hopes a dry wicket will allow the Dolphins’ batsmen to get a chance.

“This is a big week for us as we still have the Warriors in Pietermaritzburg on Sunday,” he said. “We have a decent squad of players to choose from and rotation is key. We need to keep the guys fresh and focused.”

For Klusener, the bottom line is wanting his charges to play to their potential every game, pitching up and making it happen. “We’ve just gone off the boil a little on that one, but it’s early days. Having said that though, these next two games are vital to our cause and we need to make them count.”

The matches against the Knights and Warriors are not televised.

Dolphins Squad: Morné van Wyk (capt), Cameron Delport, Cody Chetty, Vaughn van Jaarsveld, Khaya Zondo, Daryn Smit, Robbie Frylinck, Craig Alexander, Sibonelo Makhanya, Rabian Engelbrecht, Prenelan Subrayen, Daryn Dupavillon, Keshav Maharaj, Kyle Nipper and Thandi Tshabalala.

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