Key Dolphin Louw to miss crunch clash

2008-12-30 00:00

IN a blow to KZN Dolphins’ chances, their all-rounder, Johann Louw, will miss the must-win MTN Championship match against the Titans at Kingsmead on Friday.

Convenor of selectors Jay Naidoo told The Witness yesterday that Louw “will undergo rehab for a torn groin muscle over the next three weeks”.

David Miller (slipped disc, minimum four weeks out) and Alfonso Thomas (shoulder strain, 10 days out) are also unavailable for a match in which victory will assure them a semi-final berth.

“It’s the same squad plus Ugasen Govender from the Cobras washout last Friday in Durban.

“The guys have come good the last three weeks and are quietly confident,” Naidoo said.

Skipper Ahmed Amla said key contributions are imminent from Sanath Jayasuriya and HD Ackerman.

“Everyone goes through rough patches,” said Amla. “Look at Matthew Hayden and Michael Hussey. HD and Sunny have been hitting more balls in the nets than anyone and it’s just a matter of time.”

Amla said the Dolphins’ winless SuperSport Series run (five matches, bottom of the log) at the halfway stage has not affected team morale.

“We kept a positive mindset throughout the SuperSport and early MTN matches and people forget that we had the upper hand in three of the five [SS Series] outings, but to some extent a lack of firepower and balance in our attack meant getting 20 wickets became a problem.

“It didn’t help that Johann was called up to the Proteas limited-over side during that period,” Amla said.

Louw missed another SS Series match due to his brother’s wedding.

After the MTN final on January 16, the franchises tackle the Standard Bank Pro20 Series from January 21 to February 20.

Dolphins: Imraan Khan, Sanath Jayasuriya, Ahmed Amla (c), HD Ackerman, Jon Kent, Pierre de Bruyn, Daryn Smit, Morne van Vuuren, Quinton Friend, Yusuf Abdullah, Ugasen Govender, Saidi Mlongo.

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