Dolphins braced for test against wily Warriors

2011-02-04 00:00

KZN Dolphins coach Graham Ford says that his side still has plenty of learning to do, despite Wednesday’s surprise victory over the Knights in their Pro20 Series opener.

“I was immensely proud of the way the guys adapted to roles that some had never previously played, but we know that we are still vast outsiders,” Ford warned.

With that win, the Dolphins have already bettered the efforts of last season’s Pro20 campaign, where they failed to win a single game.

“When you look at some of the teams we are up against, they are streets ahead of us in terms of their options,” Ford lamented.

In the bowling stakes, certainly, the Dolphins are wafer thin. The mix and match effort that went into defending 171 against the Knights was part luck and part surprise — and Ford is wise enough to know that it is unlikely to catch anyone else cold again.

“The calibre of sides out there will have looked at that, and we would be naive to think that they won’t make plans for that,” he conceded.

Ford praised captain Imraan Khan for his contribution on Wednesday.

Khan slid down the order, accommodating bigger hitters, as the Dolphins built their ultimately decisive total.

“It’s very easy to judge sitting at home, but ‘Immy’ made some pretty big calls in the heat of the contest, and I thought he was outstanding,” Ford enthused.

The Dolphins face the Warriors tonight, a side that was one match away from being the world club champions.

“We are at two ends of the scale, really. They have come from a fantastic showing in the Champions League, and we are trying to build a competitive one-day outfit,”Ford said.

The Warriors, even without their endless list of Proteas, still present a formidable and wily side, and the Dolphins are in for another stern examination of their character.

The Dolphins will have to bat just as well as they did against the Knights, and Ford said he was heartened by the form of his ‘big three’, Loots Bosman, David Miller and Vaughn van Jaarsveld.

“It is exciting to see them play like that. Loots was immense, and it is so good to see him back in action after his injury setback.

“As for Dave and Vaughn, they can both hit a long ball, and that ability is so crucial in this format.”

Squad: Imraan Khan (C), David Miller, Devon Conway, Vaughn van Jaarsveld, Ahmed Amla, Loots Bosman, Cameron Delport, Daryn Smit, Kyle Abbott, Mthokozisi Shezi, Jon Kent and Keshav Maharaj.

Play starts at 6 pm, with TV coverage on SuperSport 2 from 5.45 pm.

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