Three wins will see Dolphins at the top

2014-01-29 00:00

THERE’S much to play for in tonight’s Ram Slam T20 clash at SuperSport Park, Centurion, when the Titans host the Dolphins.

For the Titans, who are currently fourth on the log, a win would see them challenging for a play-off berth, while the Dolphins would move from third to second, with two more matches to play this week.

These are the only two franchises in action today and, while the Dolphins can afford to lose one of their remaining three fixtures (including this one), if they manage to win all three, they could challenge the Cobras at the top of the log, thereby securing a spot in the final and a ticket to play in the Champions League Twenty20.

In this format of the game, as the Dolphins have discovered especially when chasing a total, it is the runs on the board that count, and losses to the Cobras and Warriors when batting second could so easily have been reversed and seen valuable points in the bag.

As it is, the Dolphins will have to approach each game with maximum importance. Having beaten the Titans in the opening fixture of the competition at Newlands, they have the belief that they can bounce back after Sunday’s deflating two-run loss to the Warriors when chasing just over 140 to win.

With positions on the log changing after every game, Dolphins coach Lance Klusener knows the race is not finished until his men have crossed the finish line.

“These are three big games for us and our destiny is in our own hands,” he said. “It all comes down to how we finish, even though we are currently in contention and in the right half of the table.”

Despite some top order batting woes in recent matches, Klusener has been encouraged by the form of left-hand opening batsman Cameron Delport, who has scored 139 runs in the last three games, including 82 against the Lions and 49 against the Cobras. Both games were won by the Dolphins.

“Delport has shown potential for a while and it’s time for that potential to produce the goods,” said Klusener.

“No player can get by on potential alone. He is one of the most exciting batsmen in the competition and the format suits his attacking style. He’s been around for a few seasons and his initial growing period is coming to an end. It’s time for him as a cricketer to put the results and performances on the table, and having realised that, he is producing the goods.”

The only change to the Dolphins squad is the inclusion of fast bowler Mthokozisi Shezi, who comes into the reckoning in place of the injured Craig Alexander.

After tonight’s match, the Dolphins play the Knights at Kingsmead on Friday and the Lions at the Wanderers on Sunday to determine if they will be involved in the final stages of the competition.

Tonight’s match starts at 6 pm, and is broadcast on SuperSport 2 and SuperSport HD2.

Dolphins Squad: Prenelan Subrayen, Kyle Nipper, Morne van Wyk (captain), Mthokozisi Shezi, Keshav Maharaj, Kyle Abbott, Daryn Smit, Cameron Delport, Robbie Frylinck, Khaya Zondo, David Miller, Cody Chetty and Vaughn van Jaarsveld.

Dolphins v Titans

(Ram Slam T20)

Played: 13

Titans won: 8

Dolphins won: two

No result: three

Highest Score Titans: 203-5 (Benoni, 2004/05)

Highest Score Dolphins: 200-4 (Benoni, 2004/05)

Lowest Score Titans: 93 (Durban, 2007/08)

Lowest Score Dolphins: 103/6 (Centurion, 2010/11)

Highest Individual Score Titans: Justin Kemp 85* (Benoni, 2004/05)

Highest Individual Score Dolphins: Vaughn van Jaarsveld 82* (Cape Town, 2013/14)

Best Bowling Titans: 3-18 Ethy Mbhalati (Durban, 2007/08)

Best Bowling Dolphins: 4-25 Jon Kent (Durban, 2003/04)

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