Hashim back for Dolphins

2012-02-02 00:00

THE Dolphins, buoyed by their comprehensive win over the Warriors, received a further boost with the news that star batsman Hashim Amla will be available for their next match, a SuperSport Series clash against the Highveld Lions, starting at Kingsmead today.

Amla has been on an extended break after the birth of his first child, but the match against the Lions presents the elegant batsman with the chance to fine-tune his game ahead of South Africa’s tour of New Zealand, which starts this month.

Dolphins batsman Vaughn van Jaarsveld said the addition of Amla and the inclusion of leg-spinner Imran Tahir could only benefit the team.

Van Jaarsveld told The Witness: “Having Hashim and Imran Tahir playing again is a very big boost for the team just because of the experience and drive that they bring.”

The Dolphins have made two changes to the team that beat the Warriors by 227 runs, with left-arm spinner Kyle Nipper and all-rounder Robbie Frylinck, who is battling with a groin injury, making way for Amla and young fast bowler Dane Paterson.

Despite the win over the Warriors, the Dolphins still prop up the SuperSport Series table, but a decent run in the four-day competition would be the perfect tonic for new coach Lance Klusener and his charges as they prepare for the domestic T20 competition.

Klusener’s task this week is to make sure that the Dolphins continue to keep their focus after the euphoria of their first SuperSport Series win of the year.

Van Jaarsveld said the team were well aware of how much hard work lay ahead of them.

“To have somebody of Lance’s stature in the changeroom has given everybody a boost and sense of what it means to represent the Dolphins.

“Things are not going to happen overnight. It will take a lot of hard work, but the win had been a long time coming,” he said.

The Lions will provide a stiff challenge. The men from Johannesburg are fourth on the SuperSport Series standings, and they still have an outside chance of winning the competition if other results go their way.

Van Jaarsveld knows the Lions better than most, having spent most of his career playing for the franchise before his move to the Dolphins last season.

He said: “The Lions have a good blend of youth and experience and it is going to be a good test for us. But we are here to compete and not lie down just so that they can move up the table.”

TEAMS

Dolphins: Imraan Khan (captain), Divan van Wyk, Hashim Amla, Vaughn van Jaarsveld, David Miller, Cody Chetty, Daryn Smit (wicketkeeper) Kyle Abbott, Dane Paterson, Imran Tahir, Mthokozisi Shezi.

Highveld Lions: Gulam Bodi, Stephen Cook, Jonathan Vandiar, Neil McKenzie (captain), Temba Bavuma, Zander de Bruyn, Dominic Hendricks (wicketkeeper), Cliffe Deacon, Chris Morris, Pumelela Matshikwe, Eddie Leie, Richard das Neves.

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