Dolphins will want to spoil Vilas va va voom

2012-01-12 00:00

THE Sunfoil Dolphins face a stern test of their mettle at the Maritzburg Oval from today until Sunday when they tackle the Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras, who are fresh from an innings and 54-run win over the Chevrolet Knights, in the Durban-based franchise’s first SuperSport Series match of the year.

The Cobras lead the log with 86.98 points from six starts, which include four wins, while the Dolphins are bottom of the table with 40.38 points from six matches, which breaks down into three defeats and three draws.

Dolphins vice-captain and in-form wicketkeeper/batsman Darren Smit, who turns 28 on January 28, is undaunted by the challenge.

“Results haven’t gone our way and now it’s a matter of playing four consistent days of cricket,” Smit told The Witness on Wednesday night.

In just his sixth first-class match, quick bowler Brandon Scullard will debut for the Dolphins and the Durban-born man who turns 21 next month is deserving of his chance, Smit said.

“Scully has come through the ranks and I am sure he is looking forward to the opportunity.”

The right arm fast-medium Scullard, a Suncoast Dolphins Academy product, recorded his best first-class figures last weekend, five for 54 in Eastern Province’s first innings during the Provincial Three-Day Challenge match in Port Elizabeth.

The experienced Justin Kemp, Justin Ontong and Andrew Puttick, as well as former Dolphin Johann Louw, are key figures in a Cobras line-up that also shows some relative inexperience.

Cobras captain Kemp tops the SuperSport bowling averages with Louw in fifth place, while Ontong leads the batting stakes with Dane Vilas in fourth position. The Dolphins have Smit (sixth), captain Imraan Khan (12th) and Divan van Wyk (19th) in the batting top 20 while right-arm seamer and sometime off-spinner Robbie Frylinck (15th) is the lone Dolphin in the leather-flingers’ top 20.

On an Oval track that has been uncharacteristically tweaker-friendly this season, it is most unfortunate that the Proteas’ spin-doctors have ruled leg-break/googly wizard Imran Tahir out of the match, but Smit said the Dolphins do have options in Frylinck, after he is done with the new ball, as well as Khaya Zondo and Khan to call on in that department.

Stats-wise, Vilas is the leading SuperSport Series wicketkeeper this season with 28 catches while Smit is in third spot on 21 pouches.

Just under three months ago the Dolphins/Cobras first-round match in Cape Town was drawn, a match that Dolphins skipper Khan should remember fondly for his undefeated 141.

Vilas will have no trouble remembering his remarkable feat just a few days ago against the Knights in Kimberley, when he became the first cricketer in history to score 150 or more and had a hand in 10 dismissals in the match.

The Dolphins will be determined to spoil any Vilas va va voom.

TEAMS

Sunfoil Dolphins: Imraan Khan (capt), Daryn Smit, Kyle Abbott, David Miller, Robbie Frylinck, Divan van Wyk, Cody Chetty, Khaya Zondo, Vaughn van Jaarsveld, Mthokozisi Shezi, Brandon Scullard.

Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras: Andrew Puttick, Beuran Hendricks, Charl Willoughby, Dane Piedt, Dane Vilas, Johann Louw, Justin Kemp (capt), Justin Ontong, Mohammed Vallie, Richard Levi, Siyabulela Simetu, Stiaan van Zyl.

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