Dolphins running out of time

2008-11-05 00:00

TIME is fast running out for the Dolphins if they hope to make a serious challenge for the SuperSport Series.

After four matches in the 10-match competition, they have yet to win, and four draws mean they lie fifth out of six on the log and 21,08 points behind the leaders — that is a huge deficit to catch up even with six matches to go.

The Free State Eagles present the Dolphins’ next challenge at Kingsmead in Durban from today, and the defending champions are as desperate to chalk up a win after two wins and two losses in their four matches. They lie 4,03 points off the pace after the left-arm spin of Paul Harris (12 wickets in the match) destroyed them last time out in Benoni and ensured the Pretoria boys leapfrogged the Free Staters on the log.

The bottom line is: the Dolphins batsmen have generally come to the party, although have not been able to score quickly enough when the situation has demanded it, but their bowlers have not delivered.

In essence, this match is between the Eagles bowlers and Dolphins batsmen — at least it looks that way on paper. Statistics don’t give the full picture, but the stark facts are that captain Boeta Dippenaar and precocious left-hander Rilee Rossouw (19) are the only Eagles among the SS Series top 20 batsmen, but a healthy mix of spin and seam in Victor Mpitsang, Dillon du Preez, Thandi Tshabalala, Con de Lange and CJ de Villiers are among the top 20 bowlers.

Furthermore Dean Elgar, their 21-year-old opening batsman struck 57 and 155 (out of 244 in the second innings) against the dominant Titans last time out, so their batting isn’t as bad as it may look at first glance — and then there’s the durable Morne van Wyk and explosive Loots Bosman due for big scores. Both Elgar and Rossouw are already averaging in the forties in first-class cricket.

Khaya Zondo (18) comes in for the out-of-nick opening batsman Rivash Gobind, but not to fulfil the opening berth. Grant Rowley, equally out of touch at this level, is expected to do this job — it doesn’t bode well. Similarly, the dearth of bowling talent in KZN means the same players have been tried with little success and are still in the side with little prospect of being replaced.

The Dolphins have almost used up their home SS Series matches — three of the four have been at Kingsmead, and they have precious little to show for it.

An ardent Dolphins fan has every right to feel nervous this weekend.

TEAMS

Dolphins: Imraan Khan (vice-captain), Grant Rowley, Pierre de Bruyn, Ahmed Amla (capt), David Miller, Jon Kent, Khaya Zondo, Daryn Smit, Quinton Friend, Saidi Mlongo, Ugasen Govender, Yusuf Abdullah.

Eagles: Boeta Dippenaar (captain), Dean Elgar, Ryan Bailey, Morne van Wyk, Rilee Rossouw, Victor Mpitsang, Dillon du Preez, Shadley van Schalkwyk, CJ de Villiers, Thandi Tshabalala, Con de Lange, Divan van Wyk.

• The Gauteng derby should be the highlight of the fifth round of SuperSport Series cricket matches, starting today, as the log leading Titans strive to protect their position against neighbours Highveld Lions at Centurion.

Decades ago, the Lions (then Transvaal) used to regularly thump their northern counterparts (Northern Transvaal), but the wheel has definitely turned and the Titans will go into the game in Centurion as firm favourites.

In Paarl, the fast bowlers in the Warriors and Cape Cobras teams will be taking great interest in the conditions after Boland chief executive Omar Henry promised that there would be more bounce in the Boland Park strip for the game, saying the late winter had hampered preparation of the square.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.