Opening the scorecard

2014-10-09 00:00

DOLPHINS captain Morné van Wyk and his band of merry men descend on SuperSport Park, Centurion, tomorrow, begin their season in their opening One-Day Cup clash against the Titans.

Key for the Dolphins will be to strike early and take the points on offer for a win.

Too many times in the past they have had to play catch-up cricket, coming from behind and relying on difficult permutations when the business end of the season has approached,

This time around, it is a matter of getting stuck in from ball one, throttling the opposition and ensuring they are first across the line come the end result.

No doubt the Dolphins are still smarting from last season’s defeat against the same opposition in the semi-final of the One-Day Cup at Kingsmead, when Heino Kuhn’s century saw the Titans home by five wickets.

It was a good sign for the Dolphins they had reached the semi of the competition and they made amends by winning the Ram Slam T20 final against the Cobras a few months later.

On the other side of the coin, the Titans and Roelof van der Merwe in particular, will remember the battering handed out by David Miller in the semi of the T20 competition, also at Kingsmead, where Miller made 93* from 37 balls, including carting van der Merwe for five sixes in one over.

This is a different format, but Miller is the king of the Dolphins’ middle order and is just as devastating in 50 overs, allowing himself to get in before cutting loose.

The Titans have played two four-day matches this season, while the Dolphins are fresh from their Champions League campaign in India, where despite losing all their matches, they never backed down from a challenge.

That will stand them in good stead at Centurion and their squad for the game indicates coach Lance Klusener’s thinking.

He has Imran Tahir as his specialist spinner and all his pace bowling options in Kyle Abbott, Craig Alexander, Robbie Frylinck and youngster Andile Phehlukwayo (if selected).

On the batting front, the Cameron Delport/Morné van Wyk option at the top of the order is a given, more often than not getting a solid start and creating a platform for the Millers and Vaughn van Jaarsvelds to blaze away.

Cody Chetty and Khaya Zondo are more than capable of weighing in with useful contributions, while Daryn Smit offers some all-rounder skills with his batting and leg-spinners.

On paper, the Dolphins squad has a familiar look, but Phehlukwayo and Sibonelo Makhanya are a welcome injection of youth.

There should not be too many surprises when the final 11 take to the field and, under Van Wyk’s leadership, the squad has moulded into a unit that believes in itself and backs itself to go the distance.

New signing Ryan McLaren is unavailable due to injury but it is a comforting thought that he is in the background, ready to be unleashed when the time is right.

The match is telecast on SuperSport 2 from 2.45 pm.

Dolphins Squad:

Morné van Wyk, 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.

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