Sanath could explode on Friday 13th

2009-02-10 00:00

AMID all the hype of the Proteas returning for the latter stages of the Pro20 Series, there have been only slight mutterings of a little man big on reputation, who just happens to be due back today.

Sanath Jayasuriya is back for a second dip in the domestic circuit, and he will be keen to justify his price tag in the semi-finals and possible final next week.

There have been ominous signs that the Sri Lankan legend is close to his best, his 33 off 17 balls in yesterday’s Twenty20 clash against India the latest mini-surge of promise.

If Jayasuriya fires, there is simply no ground in South Africa big enough to contain him. The Dolphins’ brains trust will have known this when acquiring his services.

He failed miserably with the bat during the MTN 45-over competition earlier in the season, with a solitary half-century a poor return by his lofty standards. His pedigree suggests that he simply has to come off one of these days for the Dolphins, and Friday the 13th could yet be a very unlucky date for the Cape Cobras.

Of course, the Cobras have a high-class lefty of their own back in the mix, with all indications suggesting that Graeme Smith is set to make his return in Friday’s first semi-final.

With Herschelle Gibbs and JP Duminy also in the Cobras’ line-up and Hashim Amla likely to open for the Dolphins with Jayasuriya, Newlands could prove an absolute nightmare for bowlers.

The competition has been unpredictable thus far, with the fancied Titans falling by the wayside as bad luck and patchy form saw them make too slow a start.

The first instalment of a week of semi-finals is today, with the Eagles taking on the table-topping Warriors.

At this stage of proceedings, form will count for very little. It only takes a whirlwind innings or a devastating spell to turn a match on its head.

Jayasuriya, with his wily spinners to boot, may yet be the man who takes the Dolphins to the final on February 20.

And not many in world cricket would fancy crossing paths with him in Pro20 cricket, never mind on Friday the 13th.

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