It’s sink or swim for the Dolphins

2008-01-24 00:00

There should be considerable interest in the KZN Dolphins SuperSport Series cricket match against the Eastern Cape Warriors at the Maritzburg Oval from today.

Other than the early matches, the Dolphins have had a miserable season with the bat, their last three totals being 190 against the Titans in Benoni and two scores of 158 in their last outing in Bloemfontein against the Eagles.

Their last three matches have resulted in a loss, a rain-affected draw and an innings defeat.

Before the above-mentioned innings, the Dolphins made 164 and 147 in Pietermaritzburg, 147 in Durban and 210 and a paltry 63 in Cape Town.

The refrain from captain Ahmed Amla, coach Yashin Ebrahim and selection chief Jay Naidoo has ranged from a lack of application to unplayable deliveries and difficult batting tracks.

Seven totals of under 200 have obviously made life very difficult for the Dolphins.

The result is the Dolphins have seen their second position steadily eroded to the point where they are now in fourth place, behind leaders the Eagles by 20 points, and then the Warriors and Cobras.

Going into this 10th and final round of the SuperSport Series season, the Dolphins have won three, lost three and drawn three.

They only have two batsmen, opener Imraan Khan and wicket keeper Daryn Smit, in the SuperSport top 20, in 19th and 20th positions respectively.

The outstanding Johann Botha — with 40 wickets he is second to Monde Zondeki’s 51 — and to a lesser extent Quinton Friend and Saidi Mhlongo, have been the pick of the Dolphins attack.

Two key batsmen for the Warriors are skipper Zander de Bruyn and Arno Jacobs, while Mario Olivier, Lonwabo Tsotsobe, Sinethemba Mjekula and Juan Theron are sure to test the Dolphins batsmen.

With Dolphins supporters keen to see the team swimming with vigour and grace once again, not to mention 18-year-old David Miller’s debut, there is every reason to spend an hour or two at the PMB Oval over the next four days.

Meanwhile, aggressive right-handed batsman Ricardo Goveia, who matriculated from Kearsney College last year, makes his first-class debut today when KZN Coastal host neighbours KZN Inland over the next four days (three-dayer then one-dayer on Sunday) at the Chatworth Oval.

TEAMS

Dolphins: Doug Watson, Imraan Khan, Hashim Amla, Ahmed Amla (capt), Kyle Smit, Daryn Smit, David Miller, Johann Louw, Quinton Friend, Saidi Mlongo, Yusuf Abdullah, Ross McMillan.

Warriors: Zander de Bruyn (capt), Robin Peterson, HD Ackerman, Davy Jacobs, Riaan Jeggels, Arno Jacobs, Michael Smith, Justin Kreusch, Mario Olivier, Juan Theron, Sinethemba Mjekula, Lonwabo Tsotsobe.

* Play starts at 9.30 am. Entrance is free.

SS Series log (all played nine): 1 Free State/Griquas Eagles 111.80 points; Eastern Cape Warriors 89.88 pts; 3 Western Cape Cobras 84.98 pts; 4 KZN Dolphins 79.04 pts; 5 North-East Titans 60.28 pts; 6 Highveld Lions 51.62 pts.

KZN Coastal: Ricardo Goveia, Rivash Gobind, Wayne Madsen (capt), Darren Govender, Martin Bekker, Jonathan Vandiar, Khaya Zondo, Jon Kent, Calvin Flowers, Ugasen Govender, Mthokozisi Shezi, Nicholas Hewer, Kershav Maharaj, Andrew Tweedie.

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