Rabada to be given debut

Kagiso Rabada (Gallo Images)
Kagiso Rabada (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - The Highveld Lions are likely to hand a franchise debut to South Africa under-19 player, Kagiso Rabada, when they travel to Kingsmead on Thursday to take on the Dolphins in a domestic four-day match.

Rabada played a key role as South Africa lifted the under-19 World Cup at the start of the month, most notably taking 6 for 25 in the semi-final against Australia in Dubai.

The 18-year-old fast bowler subsequently made his first-class debut for Gauteng upon his return to South Africa, and has taken a combined 7 for 105 in his first two games.

Now he will take the next step as he joins up with the Lions squad for their penultimate game of the season.

"We've faded badly so there's no way that we can get near the Cobras or the Knights," said Lions coach Geoffrey Toyana.

"It's been a tough season for us so I'm just asking for the guys to finish strong.

"I might give some of the young players an opportunity this week and see what we have for the future.

"The big find will be Kagiso Rabada, who will come through this week and we can see what the young man can do for us."

The Dolphins have unearthed some big finds of their own this season, with fast bowler Daryn Dupavillon and left-arm spinner Tabraiz Shamsi taking five-wicket hauls on debut, and 24-year-old batsman Sarel Erwee scoring an unbeaten half-century in his first franchise game earlier this month.

Facing a long injury list, coach Lance Klusener expects the young players to enjoy further opportunities in the last two games of the season.

"We've got a few of injuries going around, so it's nice to have a look and see whom we've got in the cupboard," said Klusener.

"Jonathan Vandiar, Calvin Savage, Vaughn van Jaarsveld and Robbie Frylinck are all out."

Kyle Abbott will return to Dolphins duty after missing the last couple of matches due to his involvement with the Proteas.

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