Dolphins eye perfect start to the season

2014-10-10 00:00

TODAY sees the Dolphins step out for their season-opening One-Day Cup clash against the Titans at SuperSport Park (Centurion).

Coach Lance Klusener and skipper Morné van Wyk are confident of taking the four points for a win having learnt the harsh realities of the game in the recent Champions Trophy in India.

While that was 20-over cricket, Klusener has no qualms over his charges’ ability to change gear and adapt.

“We have prepared well and we have brought home invaluable experience from the trip to India,” he told The Witness yesterday.

“We are competitive, up for a challenge and will need to do the basics right. The key is to pace ourselves well as now we have more than double the overs and time available to occupy the crease and build a decent total.”

It’s about staying the distance and being ahead of the opposition in every department. Looking at his squad, Klusener emphasised that Imran Tahir got preference as the specialist spinner, hence the absence of Keeshav Maharaj.

“That goes without saying and in all likelihood, we could use one spinner. We have back-up in Khaya Zondo and Daryn Smit, while all our fast bowling bases are covered, with no injuries to the quicks,” he said.

Smit, who offers batting down the order and a leg-spinning option, battled in India, not playing in the Dolphins’ last two matches.

“Daryn was taken advantage of in India but he is effective on South African pitches,” said Klusener. “He is a vital cog in our machine in this format and he just needs to make some fine adjustments. It’s a new season and it’s a matter of going back to start and progressing from there.”

Van Wyk was excited to get the season out the blocks but was focused, as always, on sticking to his team’s gameplan and using the players’ skills to get the job done.

“India is behind us now and we can focus on the domestic scene, playing on wickets and against players we are familiar with,” he said. “Yes, it is a change from the T20 hit and bash we have been playing, but I am confident we have the experienced players who can adjust and adapt to the 50 over format.”

With youngsters Daryn Dupavillon, Sibs Makhanya and Andile Phehlukwayo in the squad, Van Wyk said he was, “excited to have these players providing competition in the set-up, keen to break through and make the team”.

As for the Titans, they had Van Wyk’s respect, but he was not duly concerned whether they would use their Protea players in their final eleven.

“We must focus on what we have and how to use those resources,” he said. “Our goal is to show up, play hard, control what we can and deliver our brand of cricket, which will hopefully bring us the win.”

For the Dolphins, Jonathan Vandiar and Ryan McLaren are unavailable through injury, while the Titans are still without David Wiese (ankle) and Albie Morkel, who is only expected to be available in January.

The match is telecast on SS2 from 2.45 pm.

Dolphins Squad: Morné van Wyk (capt), Cameron Delport, Cody Chetty, Khaya Zondo, David Miller, Daryn Smit, Vaughn van Jaarsveld, Robbie Frylinck, Kyle Abbott, Imran Tahir, Craig Alexander, Sibonelo Makhanya and Andile Phehlukwayo.

Dolphins v Titans (One Day)

Matches: 22

Titans wins: 9

Dolphins wins: 9

No result: 4

Titans highest score: 315-6 (Centurion, 2011/12)

Dolphins highest score: 317-4 (Centurion, 2011/12)

Titans lowest score: 73 (PMB, 2005/06)

Dolphins lowest score: 164-9 (DBN, 2007/08)

Titans highest individual score: 120 Faf du Plessis (Centurion, 2011/12)

Dolphins highest individual score: 142 Doug Watson (Centurion, 2004/05)

Titans best bowling: 4-38 Rowan Richards (DBN 2012/13)

Dolphins best bowling: 6-24 Andrew Tweedie (PMB 2005/06).

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