Delport ‘chuffed to be back for Dolphins’

2013-10-23 00:00

IT’S been many a long season that the Dolphins went into the fourth round of a competition undefeated and were involved in a top-of-the-table clash to boot.

That’s where they find themselves for today’s Momentum One-Day Cup clash against the table-topping Warriors in Port Elizabeth. After three matches, the Dolphins are second to their opponents only on net run rate, with two wins from three matches and a draw — thanks to rain — in their last game on Sunday, in Durban.

The two wins have been achieved on the road, in Potch (Lions) and Kimberley (Knights) and the Durban lads will be keen to keep the momentum going in PE.

Coach Lane Klusener has stuck with much the same squad for all the matches, the biggest drawback being a shoulder injury to strike bowler Calvin Savage, who has been replaced by Yusuf Abdullah.

Another player back in the squad is opening batsman Cameron Delport, who has spent some time in the amateur ranks and finding his groove at club level, for Berea Rovers.

“To be honest, I was disappointed to be left out for the first three games, but that’s the nature of the game,” said Delport. “There is not always room for everyone and I had to knuckle down, prove myself and get back into the reckoning.”

The reward has been forthcoming. Consistent run scoring has seen Delport recalled to the squad as the Dolphins top-order has battled so far this season.

“For me, it’s great to be back in the mix, back with the boys,” he said. “I’m still not guaranteed a place in the starting line-up, but I am in the squad and hope to get at least one match this week. I suppose a lot depends on how the top order goes today, then the coach can look ahead to Friday’s match against the Cobras, in Paarl.”

Delport has said that one-day cricket is his game and he has worked on this in the off season. “If I get a game and open, then I want a big score as 50 overs allows me to build an innings,” he said. “My bowling, which I am also enjoying, will play a big part this season, my medium pacers keeping an end tight while the speedsters enjoy a rest. I’m just chuffed to be back in the running and I’m here to stay for the season.”

Dolphins batting consultant and former captain Dale Benkenstein remains positive the top six willow wielders will do the job for the Dolphins today.

“Yes, they have looked brittle so far, but at least we are still winning. That is one of the reasons I have been involved with the Dolphins again and the lads have yet to fire,” he said.

“Some of them have come to the party but we need to take the pressure off the bowlers. It’s a sign of a strong team that we have the depth to recover from the poor starts we have had.”

Benkenstein added that batting was always a “work in progress” and that batsmen needed to cash in when they could.

“Sure, some are feeling the pressure this early in the season, but it makes them realise that cricket is a tough game,” he said. “Every specialised batsman is always that one game away from making it count. The nature of the game dictates that no matter how much time or coaching a batsman does when having a bad patch, it’s down to what happens when he takes guard and faces that first ball.

“When our batsmen do fire, the Dolphins will be an amazing team.”

Today’s match starts at 3 pm and is live on SuperSport 7, moving to SuperSport 2 at 3.30 pm.

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