Proteas ace boosts Dolphins’ hopes

2010-03-24 00:00

THE KZN Dolphins have been bolstered by the return of Proteas star Hashim Amla to the fold for the final SuperSport Series match of the season at Kingsmead this week.

Amla, who has been nursing a hand injury since his incredible tour of India, is back to full fitness and will add much needed steel to a young Dolphins line-up.

The Dolphins were handed some tough lessons in Cape Town last week, with the Cobras, champions-elect, rattling up a massive first innings before turning the screw with the ball.

The 10-wicket loss would have been a tough baptism of fire for the Dolphins’ three debutants, but coach Graham Ford will be wi­se to make his decisions after seeing several of his charges challenged at the top level.

Inland top-order bastman Bradley Moses is the casualty in order for Amla to step in, and though he didn’t chalk up a major score, Moses’ gritty display in the second dig in Cape Town will not have gone unnoticed.

He returns to Inland action this week intent on finishing off a breakthrough campaign in first-class cricket with another good showing.

The Dolphins will face a Lions team still smarting from a last-gasp defeat to the Titans in Benoni last Sunday.

In a thrilling finale, the Lions’ attack was held at bay by the Titans’ tail, as the men from Pretoria squeaked home by two wickets.

Clearly then, both teams at Kingsmead will be looking to finish off their campaigns on the right note.

Interestingly, both were finalists in the two domestic competitions this season, but they were blown away with equal disdain by the allconquering Warriors.

So with several former Dolphins turning up in the visiting change-room, including new SA ‘A’ cap Jonathan Vandiar, there will be no shortage of needle in the middle.

The Dolphins will have to bat long and well, because their attack is seriously lacking in penetration — an issue that Ford has said will be addressed as a matter of concern in the closed season.

For now, though, the Dolphins will have to make do with what they have.

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