SA stars grace PMB Oval as Dolphins seek four-day triumph

2009-03-11 00:00

THE KZN Dolphins will be seeking their first four-day triumph of the season, this time against the Cape Cobras at the Maritzburg Oval, starting today.

The KZN outfit were desperately unlucky in their last four-day clash, as they fell two agonising wickets short of claiming a morale-boosting win over the Lions.

The squad has been boosted this week by news that three of their young stars will be representing South Africa in various assignments against the Australians.

Imraan Khan’s stellar season in the longer format, which has included three centuries, has seen him chosen to open in next week’s Test at Newlands in place of the under-performing Neil McKenzie.

Speaking to The Witness after receiving his call-up on Tuesday, the left-hander was quick to point out that his attention is still firmly on the game in the City of Choice.

“Obviously it’s very exciting getting the call-up, but I am very keen to try and help the boys get a first win in the SuperSport Series this weekend,” he pointed out.

“It’s been a long season and we have been unlucky, but hopefully we can string together a winning performance in Maritzburg,” he added.

Khan is in fine nick at the moment, with successive centuries against Australia and the Lions. He acknowledged that his effort against the Lions was somewhat out of character, taking nearly 300 balls to compile, but he was pleased to have stuck it out in trying conditions.

“The Lions bowled quite negatively, wide of the wicket, and I was chuffed to play that type of innings,” he said.

The selectors, in recent weeks, have given a chance to youngsters like Cameron Delport and David Miller, and they will be further boosted by the addition of Proteas star Hashim Amla.

“As it stands we have no realistic chance of winning the title this season, so we thought it best to groom a few of our youngsters for next season,” Dolphins manager Jay Naidoo explained.

Naidoo also confirmed that Quinton Friend will miss the clash, with Jon Kent and Hashim Amla the additions to the side.

The Cobras will have the silky skills of South African middle order star JP Duminy to call upon in what promises to be a battle of batting power at the picturesque Oval.

Play starts at 9.30 am.

Squads: DOLPHINS: Ahmed Amla (captain), Imraan Khan, Cameron Delport, Hashim Amla, David Miller, Jon Kent, Pierre de Bruyn, Daryn Smit, Johann Louw, Yusuf Abdulla, Ugasen Govender, Saidi Mlongo

CAPE COBRAS: Andrew Puttick, Alistair Gray, Stiaan van Zyl, JP Duminy, Justin Ontong (capt), Henry Davids, Vernon Philander, Ryan Canning, Rory Kleinveldt, Pepler Sandri, Gurshwin Rabie, Abdul-Aziz Temoor.

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