Testing time for KZN cricketers

2008-09-22 00:00

THERE should be much to chew on at the Maritzburg Oval from 9.30 am today, when a Dolphins line-up meets an Inland/Coastal combination over three days.

The chances will be available for players to put their hands up in terms of consideration for the franchise and provincial teams that will do duty in the opening matches of the season, which are near at hand.

And not all the likely starters in those games will be at the Oval. HD Ackerman and Alfonso Thomas are wrapping up their county stints. Hashim Amla is having a deserved break and Imraan Khan, Johann Louw, Yusuf Abdullah and Daryn Smit are with the SA A side.

Of particular interest will be the chance to watch Dolphins rookie Bradley Barnes.

The wicketkeeper reportedly impressed many at the U19 World Cup in Malaysia this year with his ability to stand up to medium pacers, taking nine catches and conceding just two byes in the event.

While it is a “proper” three-day match in every other sense of the word, 12 players are in each side to give more players the chance to put their case forward. All this means is that one bowler per side won’t bat, while 11 players will be out in the field as usual.

And the need to identify the correct combinations before long is getting critical as the Dolphins kick off their season proper with a home SuperSport Series match against the Titans from October 2.

KZN Inland begin their season in 10 days’ time, when they travel to Western Province in the SA Airways provincial competition. The Coastal side wait another week before they travel to Paarl.

TEAMS

Dolphins: Ahmed Amla (c), Rivash Gobind, Grant Rowley, David Miller, Pierre de Bruyn, Morné van Vuuren, Jon Kent, Bradley Barnes, Quinton Fortune, Ugasen Govender, Saidi Mhlongo, Keshav Maharaj.

Inland/Coastal: Ross McMillan (c), Tim Drummond, Tafazwa Chiota, Clint Bowyer, Martin Bekker, Khaya Zondo, Mbasa Gqadushe, Olly Humphries, Mthokozisi Shezi, Nic Huwer, Jomo Mbili, Kevi Padayachee.

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