Supersport Series:it better be back to basics if Dolphins are to win their first game

2011-10-13 00:00

IF the Dolphins are to win their first game of the SuperSport Series this week they will have to concentrate on going back to basics and doing them well.

This is the consensus in the camp, and coach Graham Ford hopes this will be the hallmark of his team’s performance against the Knights, which begins at Kingsmead today.

The team have only played two matches in the tournament, and already there has been a mixed bag of results. The Dolphins batted and bowled brilliantly to draw with the Lions in the first game of the series, which was affected by rain. They played their first home game of the series against the Titans at the Pietermaritzburg Oval last week, where they only showed glimpses of what they are capable of.

Key to success this weekend will be the performances of senior players Daryn Smit, Imraan Khan and Ahmed Amla. With star batsmen Hashim Amla and David Miller on international duty with the Proteas, Smit has been promoted up the batting order to add some firepower upfront.

The Dolphins will also need to bulk up their middle order, which fell apart in both innings against the Titans last week. Glen Addicott can count himself fortunate if he is given another opportunity to cement his place in the team as Ford could look towards Kaya Zondo or Devon Conway to fill this role.

Like the batting, the Dolphins’ bowling attack has been strong in stages this season. Robbie Frylinck took six wickets in the opening game against the Lions, with Dane Paterson and Keshav Maharaj taking three wickets each against the Titans. However, the Dolphins have been guilty of not being able to bowl opponents out in the last innings to win a match.

This could be partly due to the fact that the wicket in Johannesburg never turned as much as expected, and Imran Tahir was unavailable for the Titans match where the pitch would have suited his bowling. But Ford must not look to pin all of his hopes on the performance of one player.

Consolation for Ford is that Friedel de Wet is available for selection, as is Tahir. This could mean that Paterson and Maharaj lose out on an opportunity to continue their form.

Winning this game is a must for the Dolphins, who will find themselves at the bottom of the table if they don’t.

• jonathan.faurie@witness.co.za

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