Hashim Amla still out, Grant Rowley in

2008-10-07 00:00

THE absence of three key batsmen for this week’s match against the high-riding Highveld Lions will not make it easy for the Dolphins top-order to erase the nightmare of Kingsmead last Friday when they were five down for 78 against Imran Tahir and the Titans.

Rain ruined that match, but Hashim Amla (still injured), HD Ackerman (best friend’s wedding) and Jon Kent (wife Kelly giving birth) aren’t available to face a formidable attack that was a significant factor in the Lions being log-leaders after beating the Warriors by 37 runs in the first round.

Dolphins coach Yashin Ebrahim told The Witness last night that non-contracted player Grant Rowley will replace Ackerman.

“ ‘Rowls’ was our choice as we feel he has been in the system, while David Miller will remain at three in Hashim’s absence,” said Ebrahim.

Kent’s absence means all the batsmen move up one, with the remaining slot a choice between Yusuf Abdullah and Saidi Mlongo.

Alfonso Thomas, the fast-medium bowler who returned from his county Somerset last week, is essentially contracted for limited-over matches and on a pay-for-play basis in the SS Series, said Ebrahim.

Dolphins manager of playing affairs and convenor of selectors, Jay Naidoo, said that Thomas wasn’t in the frame for this match considering how well the front men fared against the Titans.

Ebrahim said that “at the moment Alfie is in Pretoria, then heads back to England to get married before arriving in Durban for the limited-over component of the season”.

DOLPHINS:

Imraan Khan, Rivash Gobind, David Miller, Ahmed Amla (capt), Grant Rowley, Pierre de Bruyn, Daryn Smit, Johann Louw, Quinton Friend, Ugasen Govender, Yusuf Abdullah, Said Mlongo.

SS Series log: Highveld Lions 17.1 points; Free State Eagles 16.42; Eastern Cape Warriors 8.32; KZN Dolphins 7.4; Northern Titans 5.22; West Cape Cobras 3.

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