Klusener breathes easy asKP returns to the fray

2015-12-10 06:00
The return of Kevin Pietersen provides the Sunfoil Dolphins with a massive boost for their Ram Slam T20 Challenge semi-final match against the Cobras in Durban this evening.

The return of Kevin Pietersen provides the Sunfoil Dolphins with a massive boost for their Ram Slam T20 Challenge semi-final match against the Cobras in Durban this evening.

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

KEVIN Pietersen’s return this week will boost the Dolphins’ hopes of reclaiming the Ram Slam T20 Challenge title they won two seasons ago.

KP’s return to Durban comes at the perfect time for Lance Klusener’s team as they take on the Cape Cobras in Durban on Saturday for a place in final against the Titans in Pretoria.

In Pietersen’s absence, the Dolphins’ batting stuttered until their most recent outing, ironically against the Cobras in Durban last Friday, when they scored a convincing eight-wicket win with eight balls to spare after chasing down the visitors’ 142 for 7.

The victory secured them a home semi-final and another showdown with the Cobras.

Despite playing only five innings in the Ram Slam T20, Pietersen is the second highest run scorer in the competition, having struck two centuries and two fifties at an average of 121,33 and with an amazing strike rate of 172,51.

No other player has come close to emulating those performances this season.

His return had Dolphins coach Klusener excited at a press conference yesterday afternoon, even though it inevitably meant having to change his team line-up. “It’s tough. It means someone that has played a role in a couple of other games is going to have to sit out, but let’s not forget Kevin’s role in those five games. It is not just about someone coming in. I think Kevin has really deserved and earned his place in this competition.

“It is tough for somebody, but at the same time we are gaining a world class player, which is good for us,” he said.

While last Friday’s victory was surprisingly one-sided, Klusener is expecting a far stiffer examination from the Cobras in today’s clash. “They’re an extremely good team, and I thought they were maybe just a little bit underprepared in the last game, but they’re a quality team. I think they are going to be a lot better prepared for us tomorrow. We’re expecting a different team tomorrow,” he said.

“We’re expecting a much tougher game. There’s a lot of experience [in their team] and I know they hurt badly when they don’t win.

“Today I think it is going to be a little bit of a different opposition for us. We are going to have to hit the ground running from early, batting or bowling. That first half-an-hour is extremely important for us.”

Klusener said the Dolphins would be focusing on some of the finer details in preparation for the visit of the 2014/15 Ram Slam T20 Challenge winners. “It is just about making sure that we pitch up tomorrow and just touch up a couple of small things in the nets. That’s making sure that everybody is getting what they need, bowlers getting what they need, so that we can hopefully hit the ground fresh tomorrow. That, for me, is important, especially at this late stage of the competition.”

The match at Kingsmead starts at 6 pm.

Sunfoil Dolphins squad: Morné van Wyk (captain), Dwayne Bravo, Cameron Delport, Rabian Engelbrecht, Keshav Maharaj, Ryan McLaren, David Miller, Ayavuya Myoli, Kyle Nipper, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kevin Pietersen, Vaughn van Jaarsveld, Jonathan Vandiar, Khaya­ Zondo.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

 
PARTNER CONTENT
INFOGRAPHIC: New thinking required for retirement

Everything we believe about retirement is fast becoming outdated.

PARTNER CONTENT
WATCH: How education can change a life

A university education gives students the chance to create a better future for themselves, their families and to opportunity achieve their dreams.

/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.