Dolphins looking to learn from Kimberley opener

2010-10-05 00:00

NO sooner have they landed back in town, the Dolphins are already steeling themselves for another tough assignment in the Supersport Series this week.

“I said at the start of the season that every game would be a big test,”coach Graham Ford said yesterday.

The Dolphins’ 128-run loss to the Chevrolet Knights was down to early wobbles with the bat, which is rather ironic as the Dolphins had plundered the runs during the build-up to the season opener.

“You have to give credit to Ryan McLaren, because he was exceptional with the new ball for the Knights,” Ford admitted.

Indeed, McLaren’s match-winning habits have seen him ushered into the national squad in place of the injured Albie Morkel.

The Dolphins will lose three key batsmen of their own to national duty, with Hashim Amla, David Miller and Loots Bosman on Proteas duty for the series against Zimbabwe.

Enter one Kevin Pietersen.

The England ace was pencilled in for today’s practice with the team, but he was already working at Kingsmead yesterday.

With a reputation for an almost obsessive work ethic, Pietersen will be a source of comfort for Ford this week, who admitted that his charges had struggled.

“I was happy with the way we improved as the match progressed, but we really shouldn’t have conceded 400 in the first innings,”he added.

Ford said that the bowling was still an area of concern, and also said that Brady Barends’ incredible nine-wicket haul in an innings for Inland would put the seamer in the frame.

“Obviously a performance like that is what one is looking for, and I am sure that Brady will come into the picture in the selection meeting.”

That meeting is probably taking place as you read this, and the challenge for the Dolphins’ brains trust is to pick a side that has the balance to take on the Titans.

The Pretoria-dwellers were impressive in their dismantling of the Warriors last week, and they possess a host of big players themselves.

Quite what Ethy Mbhalathi has to do to earn Proteas honours is hard to fathom, but one can be sure that the wiry seamer will sternly examine the technique of every Dolphins’ batsman.

And with gloomy skies hovering ominously over the Oval, the strip that greets Imran Khan’s men is likely to be anything but benign.

When it rains, it pours.

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