Weather could be Dolphins’ biggest headache in their clash against Titans

2013-12-11 00:00

HAVING experienced a loss and a game virtually washed out by rain, the Dolphins find themselves bottom of the Sunfoil Four-Day Series log going into today’s match against the Titans at Kingsmead.

While the squad are keen to get on the park, they will be looking toward the heavens once more, with the forecast over the next four days predicting more rain.

“I’m new to the province and don’t have a clear perspective of what the weather might do, although it doesn’t look grand by any means,” said Dolphins captain Morné van Wyk. “It’s something we cannot control, but we can control how we play and that is what is important to us right now.”

In their last outing against the Knights in Pietermaritzburg, the Dolphins enjoyed some time in the middle with the bat with Khaya Zondo and Cody Chetty both getting 90 and Van Wyk an undefeated hundred.

“That was improvement itself from the match against the Cobras when we were skittled for 88 in our first innings,” said Van Wyk.

“If we can build on our batting against the Knights and pitch up for the game on all four days, we should get a favourable result.”

Although the Dolphins were not in action last week, they were far from idle, training hard and keeping the bowlers in shape and focused.

“Our bowlers have not bowled in a match situation for a few weeks but they have played and prepared well for this match,” said Van Wyk. “They are fresh and raring to go, which should count to our advantage.”

Some of the Dolphins players turned out for the KZN Inland team last week and Van Wyk is confident his team will work on their strengths and make good use of what playing time the weather will allow.

“I feel good after my hundred and if it’s my turn to contribute this time around, I will step up to the mark once more. However, some of the players have looked in good shape preparing for today and I think there will be some solid contributions with bat and ball,” he said.

“The Titans are a solid outfit and cannot be taken lightly. We have to focus on our gameplans and apply them as the game progresses.”

The two teams were due to meet last week but the fixture was pushed out by a week due to last Sunday’s ODI against India.

Although this fixture has been brought forward by a day due to Nelson Mandela’s funeral this Sunday, Titans coach Rob Walter has been grateful for the break.

“I wasn’t too unhappy to have time off. It’s worked out well in allowing the bowlers to get back into four-day cricket and then have a small breather,” Walter said.

Albie Morkel returns for the Titans for his first game of the season, while Rowan Richards is in the squad and Marchant de Lange could return from a side strain.

Dolphins coach Lance Klusener said: “We have been plagued by the weather but such is the nature of four-day cricket in Durban at this time of the year. We will be happy with whatever game time we get.”

DOLPHINS SQUAD

Morné van Wyk (captain), Divan van Wyk, Imraan Khan, Khaya Zondo, Vaughn van Jaarsveld, Cody Chetty, Daryn Smit, Kyle Abbott, Craig Alexander, Graham Onions, Mthokozisi Shezi. 12th Man — Sumanth Sunkari.

Dolphins vs Titans

Played 19

Dolphins Wins 4

Titans Wins 5

Draw 10

Dolphins Highest Innings Score 548-6

Titans Highest Innings Score 623-6

Dolphins Lowest Score 62

Titans Lowest Score 69

Dolphins Highest Individual Score

160 Vaughn van Jaarsveld

Titans Highest Individual Score 216 Heino Kuhn

Dolphins Best Bowling 12-156 Imran Tahir

Titans Best Bowling 8-61 Ethy Mbhalati

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