Khan and company eyeing a fast start to Pro20 series tonight

2010-02-03 00:00

THE Dolphins host the Titans in the opening game of this season’s Standard Bank Pro20 series tonight, and indications are that it will be the batsmen who will hold sway.

The Dolphins, under the meticulous eye of Graham Ford, have been honing their boundary-bashing this week, and the likes of Loots Bosman, David Miller and Dale Benkenstein are sure to play a major role for the Dolphins tonight.

While Bosman will soon depart for the ODI series in India, Benkenstein is looking forward to the rest of the season in KwaZulu-Natal.

“It’s great to be back, and I am looking to make as big a contribution to the side as I can,” the hugely successful Durham skipper said.

“Benky’s” legend is secure in the north-east of England after back-to- back county championships with unfashionable Durham, but his next mission is to bring back the glory days to Durban.

His influence has been warmly welcomed by coach Ford, and skipper Imraan Khan added his voice yesterday.

“It’s such a huge plus to have his wealth of knowledge out there. He often sees a lot of things that I might not pick up, and he has obviously still got it with the bat,” Khan said.

Indeed, Benkenstein has sprung out of the blocks since his arrival, and he had a glint in his eye when contemplating which peculiar shots he would bring out to the Pro20 party tonight.

Their power-hitters aside, the Dolphins have worries when it comes to their attack.

“We rushed ‘Abbas’ (Yusuf Abdulla) back too soon, and now he will miss most of the Pro20, which is a huge blow for us,” Khan explained.

Indeed, the burly Dundee Express came into his own in the shortest format, and his combination of swing and pace has been sorely missed.

The Dolphins will welcome the visitors with great anticipation, having already knocked them over twice this season.

“We have had a bit of form against them, which we can hopefully continue,” Khan said.

The Dolphins, with three home games in a row, know how crucial a good start is in this quickfire cricket.

“With all the stars coming back for the semis, it’s important that we put ourselves in a strong position,” the captain continued.

“If you look at the rewards on the line for making the final (a passage to the lucrative Champions League), this is certainly a competition we want to do well in.”

With a lost final and a last-gasp semi-final defeat to show for their last two campaigns, the Durbanites are eager to push on and get their golden ticket this year.

 

TEAMS

Dolphins: I Khan (c), L Bosman, A Amla, D Miller, D Benkenstein, D Smit, A Hall, C Delport, J Louw, P de Bruyn, Q Friend, K Abbott, K Maharaj, V Gobind.

Titans (from): Pierre Joubert (captain), Farhaan Behardien, Gulam Bodi, Francois du Plessis, Heino Kuhn (wk), Ethy Mbhalati, Albie Morkel, Jacques Rudolph, Blake Snijman, Roelof van der Merwe, Basheer Walters, David Wiese, Cobus Pienaar.

TV: From 5.45 pm on SuperSport 2.

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