Semi spot the goal for Dolphins

2009-01-29 00:00

IF this week’s steady rain decides to stay away from Kingsmead for just a few hours tonight, Ahmed Amla and his KZN Dolphins will have the chance to secure a place in the final four of the Standard Bank Pro20 Series.

Seven points from two games is a dream start, but Amla is eager for his side to string together a complete performance in their first home game of the competition.

“If you look at our two games so far, things went our way in Bloemfontein, but not so at Centurion,” Amla said after the squad’s indoor practice yesterday.

“Of course luck plays a part. Some shots we played in Bloem just went past fielders, and yet every shot we played in the air against the Titans seemed to go to hand.”

Amla also said that it is impossible to expect the lofty totals racked up in the IPL to be repeated domestically.

“In a way, I think we have been spoilt by the IPL. The pitches in Asia are a lot flatter, whereas every pitch in South Africa tends to do a bit, especially with the new ball.”

With this week’s continued downpour in mind, Amla reckoned that even a total of around 130 would be competitive tonight.

“With all that moisture in the pitch, a run a ball will be a decent total because the bowlers will be in the game all night,” he said.

A vital cog in the Dolphins line-up will be opening batsman Grant Rowley, whose big-hitting was key in the win against the Eagles.

“Rowls”, as he is known amongst team-mates, said he was enjoying opening the innings with stalwart HD Ackermann.

“To play with someone with such a phenomenal record, it really is a pleasure,” Rowley enthused.

Rowley also expanded on his role in the side, and the goals that he sets as the innings progresses.

“Obviously in the first powerplay the field is up, which opens up the chance to go over the top — which I enjoy. Basically my role revolves around giving the team a quick start, and then if I can still be there at the death, to really lift the tempo.”

Referring back to his 88 in Bloemfontein, the big-hitter said he was a little disappointed with some of his play in the middle overs.

“I felt that I played out a few too many dot balls, which should have been at least singles. But I was pleased that I was able to catch it up and finish strongly at the death, and my strike rate was closer to where I wanted it to be.”

Dolphins squad: Ahmed Amla (Captain), Grant Rowley, Imraan Khan, HD Ackerman, Jon Kent, Daryn Smit, Pierre de Bruyn, Alfonso Thomas, Johann Louw, Quinton Friend, Yusuf Abdulla, Keshav Maharaj, Martin Bekker, Viyash Gobind

Cobras squad: Derek Brand, Stiaan Van Zyl, Henry Davids, Richard Levi, Justin Ontong (captain), Vernon Philander, Andrew Puttick, Rory Kleinveldt, Claude Henderson, Charl Langeveldt, Roger Telemachus, Sybrand Engelbrecht, Monde Zondeki and Ryan Canning.

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