Zondo replaces Gobind in squad to face Eagles

2008-11-03 00:00

KZN Dolphins opening batsman Rivash Gobind is replaced by Khaya Zondo for the SuperSport Series match against defending champions the Free State Eagles at Kingsmead from Thursday.

Yesterday’s Dolphins press release said Grant Rowley, who has been tried and not performed, gets another chance — this time to open with Imraan Khan. Gobind’s actual replacement, the 18-year-old Zondo, has played eight first-class matches and averages 27.91 with a highest score of 85.

Zondo is in the 12-man squad for the game, but is likely to bat lower down if he is selected.

The out-of-form Gobind replaced the Dolphins’ most capped player, Doug Watson in the contracted squad for this season.

The side selected for this week’s match poses a few questions. The Dolphins have played four SS Series matches and drawn four — not a good recipe for winning a 10-round competition.

Jon Kent, Imraan Khan, Daryn Smit, HD Ackerman and Ahmed Amla have performed with the bat. Although slow at times, all five are in the top 20 for batting.

David Miller — batting at number five at last, more or less the position envisioned for him in the middle-order instead of three as in the previous three matches – appeared to turn the corner with his highly impressive 70 off 90 balls including 12 fours and a six in the Dolphins first innings against the Warriors this past weekend.

But perhaps most revealing of all is the presence of just one Dolphins bowler in the SS Series top 20 – fast bowler Quinton Friend in 15th spot. The log-leading Titans have five leather flingers in the top 20, the second-placed Eagles five as well, and the third-placed Warriors also join the five-man brigade.

Makes you think, doesn’t it?

KZN Dolphins: Imraan Khan (vice-capt), Grant Rowley, Ahmed Amla (capt), Pierre de Bruyn, David Miller, Jon Kent, Khaya Zondo, Daryn Smit, Quinton Friend, Saidi Mlongo, Ugasen Govender, Yusuf Abdullah.

SS Series log (4 rounds): 1 Northern Titans 47.32 points; 2 Free State Eagles 43.29 pts; 3 Eastern Cape Warriors 37.98 pts; 4 Highveld Lions 31.92 pts; 5 KZN Dolphins 26.04 pts; 6 Western Cape Cobras 22.16 pts.

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