KZN side to be feared

2014-10-08 00:00

THIS Friday, the Dolphins embark on their domestic 2014/15 cricket season journey with a trip to SuperSport Park where they meet the Titans in a One-Day Cup (50-over) match.

Although the KwaZulu-Natal side returned from the Champions League T20 tournament in India with nothing to show for their efforts, there were encouraging signs. If these can be carried forward into the months ahead at all levels, this season could be one where the Dolphins turn the corner and become feared and respected franchise opponents.

Being competitive was huge in India. Even though the team lost every game, they played until the final ball of the final over. They faced up to every situation and stood their ground against teams littered with international players.

It was the first time playing in the sub-continent for most of the team and they came away with credit in conditions vastly different to what they are used to.

Many of the batsmen got starts without progressing to a match-winning score and the bowlers were the exposed underbelly, giving away 30 to 40 runs too many. Robbie Frylinck performed well as a medium-pacer, while the spinners struggled, being too expensive.

Nonetheless, with a young squad of contracted players, there could be some interesting developments in the team.

At the top of the order, Cameron Delport could come of age this season. He gets solid starts and attacks from ball one, although this can be his downfall.

This past weekend, he was given a run in the KZN provincial side, playing in the 50-over match against Western Province at Kingsmead. He made 126 and team coach Roger Telemachus was impressed.

“He has the shots, the power and the temperament,” he said. “This was a mature innings. He batted with patience, waiting for the bad ball to put away instead of having a go at all that came his way.”

Captain Morne van Wyk added stability and strong leadership qualities last season and has the team’s respect. He is solid at the top of the order and can make big scores.

“We have our own culture in the team and we know what is required,” he said.

“There are youngsters coming through who thrive on the platform created given by the senior players. It’s about playing for the badge, the franchise and leaving a legacy within Dolphins cricket. We started that last year by winning the Ram Slam T20 trophy and we want more.”

David Miller, Ryan McLaren, Imran Tahir and Kyle Abbott give the international spice to the squad, while Daryn Dupavillon, Sibonelo Makhanya and Andile Phelukwayo are the future of the franchise.

Phelukwayo, in matric at Glenwood, enjoyed some starts in India and looked the part, hitting powerfully as a batsman and generating fair pace with the ball.

Although he still has much to learn, he has made an encouraging start, but he still has his matric finals to deal with, which will hamper his availability.

Stalwarts Daryn Smit and Vaughn van Jaarsveld are level heads, although there is always the feeling that Van Jaarsveld, with bat in hand, can contribute more.

Cody Chetty, the returning Jonathan Vandiar, Frylinck and spinners Keeshav Maharaj, Prunelan Subrayen and Thandi Tshabalala add balance to the side, and Khaya Zondo has given a glimpse of what he can do with the bat.

Friday’s match should see a strong Dolphins squad take on the Titans, with getting the points on offer of vital importance.

Dolphins in 2013/14 Sunfoil Series

Third on 96,7 pts. Cobras won with 137,88 pts.

Played 10, won 3, lost 2, drawn 3, abandoned 2

Leading Batsman

Divan van Wyk — 8 matches, 764 runs, HS 128, Avg 54,57, 3x100, 4x50

Leading Bowler

Kyle Abbott — 7 matches, 27 wkts, Avg 15,29, Best 7-65

One-Day Cup 2013/14

Second on 28 pts, behind Cobras on nett run rate. Lost to Titans in semi-

final.

Played 10, won 5, lost 2, tied 0, N/R 3

Leading Batsman

Morne van Wyk — 11 matches (including semi-final), 394 runs, HS 107, Avg 39,40, 1x100, 1x50

Leading Bowler

Craig Alexander — 11 matches, 18 wkts, Avg 18,72, SR 25,6, econ 4,84, best 5-42

Ram Slam T20 2013/14

Second on 28 pts, behind Cobras on 34 pts. Beat Cobras by two runs in

final.

Played 10, won 6, lost 3, tied 1

Leading Batsman

David Miller — 12 matches (including semi and final), 383 runs, HS 93, Avg 47,87, SR 153,20, 4x50

Leading Bowler

Kyle Abbott — 12 matches, 16 wkts, Avg 18,62, SR 17,1, econ 6,52, best 3-21.

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