Semi berth at stake for Dolphins

2008-02-20 00:00

IF the KZN Dolphins are to maintain their challenge for a semi-final berth in the MTN Domestic Championship, victory over Zimbabwe in the day-night match from 3.45 pm at Kingsmead today is a must.

Lying fourth out of seven teams, the Dolphins are handily placed in terms of matches played — and second-last Zimbabwe is a win they must surely have banked on. However, the second-placed Western Cape Cobras crashed to a 39-run defeat at the hands of the men from Harare on Sunday and basement team the Highveld Lions must have taken notice ahead of their clash with the red-and-greens in Potchefstroom on Tuesday night.

Yet playing three demanding matches in three cities and two countries inside four days is surely madness on the part of the fixture-list gurus and the Dolphins will catch the Zimbabweans in exhaustion mode — a huge plus.

The Durban-based team will still be swimming in a sea of exasperation after Sunday’s seven-wicket drubbing by the Eastern Cape Warriors in Port Elizabeth — incentive enough.

A two-match winning trot (by 78 runs away to the Free State/Griquas Eagles and a three-wicket win at home against the Lions) followed the tournament opener at home to the log-leading North-East Titans, which went to the visitors by six wickets. Two wins and two losses need to be turned into a positive ratio, especially for a top-two league finish and a home semi-final.

Convenor of selectors Jay Naidoo told The Witness Tuesday that the 13-man Dolphins squad would remain unchanged for today’s Zimbabwe match, Friday’s Cobras clash away, as well as this Sunday’s Potchefstroom match with the Lions.

SQUADS

KZN Dolphins: Doug Watson, Imraan Khan (vice-capt), Kyle Smit, Ahmed Amla (capt), David Miller, Jon Kent, Daryn Smit, Pierre de Bruyn, Johann Louw, Alfonso Thomas, Yusuf Abdullah, Quinton Friend, Morne van Vuuren. Fayyaaz Mohiudeen (video analyst), Duraivel “Johnie” Munien (manager), Yashin Ebrahim Hassan (coach).

Zimbabwe: Vusi Sibanda, Hamilton Masakadza (capt), Sean Williams, Tatenda Taibu, Brendan Taylor, Regis Chakabva, Elton Chigumbura, Graeme Cremer, Gary Brent, Ray Price, Christopher Mpofu, Keith Dabengwa, Taurai Muzarabani.

LOG (matches in brackets): 1 Titans (4) 18 points; 2 Cobras (5) 12 pts; 3 Warriors (5) 12 pts; 4 Dolphins (4) 9 pts; 5 Eagles (6) 9 pts; 6 Zimbabwe (4) 4 pts; 7 Lions (4) 4 pts.

* The KZN Coastal squad to meet South Western Districts at Kingsmead in SA Airways Provincial Challenge three-day and one-day fixtures from Thursday to Sunday is: Rivash Gobind (capt), Chad Hauptfleisch, Wayne Madsen, Martin Bekker, Khaya Zondo, Keshav Maharaj, Darren Govender, Vyash Gobind, Saidi Mhlongo, Nicholas Hewer, Mthokozisi Shezi, Andrew Tweedie, Calvin Flowers, Ricardo Gouveia, Robbie Frylinck, Yogi Govender.

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