Titanic test awaits Dolphins in MTN40 semi-final

2010-01-21 00:00

THE Dolphins, after beating a second- string Titans unit at the Maritzburg Oval on Sunday, will meet the Pretoria giants again in the MTN40 semi-final on Sunday.

Of course, there will be the minor difference in that the Titans will be able to call on the world’s most exciting — and most potent — new ball pair in Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel.

The grim news doesn’t end there either, as AB de Villiers and Albie Morkel will add their considerable hitting power to what is an already glittering Titans’ batting card.

Clearly, the odds are stacked heavily against the KZN outfit maintaining their interests in this competition beyond this weekend.

They will have the reliable Hashim Amla back, and the elegant right-hander will have a point to prove after being inexplicably chalked off the Proteas’ ODI squad.

Amla’s wristy abilities would have been most useful on Indian pitches, and he will surely be wondering what he has done wrong.

On the flip side, Loots Bosman will be on the plane to India for the limited-overs stuff, and his case for inclusion was boosted strongly by his devastating performances in the T20 games against England.

The former Bloemfontein blaster has been becalmed of late, but players of his ilk are always one match away from wreaking havoc.

The Dolphins, as a team, will have to be at their very best to topple a Titans team dripping with match-winners and talent.

The Dolphins’ attack has been especially worrying, and it was only the emergence of Kyle Nipper that changed the tone of last week’s visit by the same Titans.

Nipper’s impressive showing should see him keep a spot, because spin is now a vital element in the shorter version of the game.

It will be an altogether more daunting prospect, but the Dolphins will have to come out firing and hope to catch the Titans on the back foot.

The continued absence of Yusuf Abdulla doesn’t help, but the Dolphins will hope their experienced core of players stands up to the Titanic challenge.

SQUAD:

Imraan Khan (captain), Hashim Amla, Loots Bosman, Ahmed Amla, Dale Benkenstein, Pierre de Bruyn, Daryn Smit, Andrew Hall, Johann Louw, Kyle Abbott, David Miller, Alfonso Thomas, Kyle Nipper

Coach: Graham Ford.

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