Dolphins have it all to do at Kingsmead

2008-04-01 00:00

After their flat, miserable performance against the Eagles from Bloemfontein last time out, the KZN Dolphins should be desperate to put things right against fellow bottom feeders Zimbabwe this evening.

The non-televised Standard Bank Pro20 Series clash from 6 pm at Kingsmead is vital to both sides if they entertain any serious hope of qualifying for the last four in the seven-team competition.

Without a win after two matches, the Dolphins meet a Zimbabwe side that surprised many by taking the honours in almost half of their MTN 45-over clashes prior to the current tournament. Zimbabwe consolidated by winning their opening Pro20 encounter against the Warriors.

However, the competitive showing by the men from Harare was undone in their next two matches when the Eagles and Lions pulled off comfortable victories.

Nevertheless, the evidence suggests that Zimbabwe have what it takes to beat the SA franchises on any given day, so the Dolphins will have to improve considerably on the shoddy top-order batting and poor bowling that gave the Eagles carte blanche in last Friday’s match.

The Cobras had to work a little bit harder to beat the Dolphins by 11 runs in both franchises’ opening match in Cape Town, but apart from the visiting side’s fundamental errors in the field that helped Herschelle Gibbs shine, their trump card was Charl Langeveldt. The expert exponent of swing at a brisk pace, who possesses an equally exemplary value system, was as inspired as he ever will be.

Bowling quite beautifully, Langeveldt snapped up the last four wickets and at the death made the Dolphins pay for their top-order squandering at least 10 runs through choosing big shots almost every ball to the exclusion of the vital ones and twos so underrated in 20-over cricket.

A mature, focused effort in all three disciplines must be top of the Dolphins wish list this evening. Anything less and Dolphins supporters can begin resigning themselves to another hopeless year of Pro20 cricket.

TEAMS

Dolphins: Imraan Khan, Doug Watson, Ahmed Amla (capt), Grant Rowley, Jon Kent,

Pierre de Bruyn, Morne van Vuuren, Daryn Smit, Johann Louw, Yusuf Abdullah and

Saidi Mhlongo. David Miller and Jonathan Vandiar also with team.

Zimbabwe (possible): Hamilton Masakadza, Tatenda Taibu, Chamunorwa Chibhabha,

Brendan Taylor, Elton Chigumbura, Stuart Matsikenyeri, Steven Nyamuzinga, Keith

Dabengwa, Prosper Utseya, Ray Price, Tapash Mupariwa.

*TV match at Centurion: Titans vs Cobras from 5.45 pm and on SS2 and CSN.

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