Friday, November 14, 2008
THE mere presence of legendary Sri Lankan Sanath Jayasuriya in the Dolphins line-up is set to reinvigorate them for their opening MTN Domestic Championship match against the Highveld Lions in Potchefstroom today.
The Dolphins have recently completed a disappointing first half of the SuperSport Series, ending last on the table, and the 45-over format represents a fresh chance to get on the winning trail.
With 421 one-day internationals behind his name (12 875 runs and 310 wickets), the 39-year-old Jayasuriya should add a major thrust to the Dolphins squad and with the experienced HD Ackerman back from suspension and key all-rounder Johann Louw surplus to South Africa’s Test requirements, the Dolphins pose a danger to the home side.
Imraan Khan and skipper Ahmed Amla have shown good form with the bat and a winning start will be just the tonic the Dolphins need, although the KZN side’s bowling attack has been their Achilles heel this season.
Lions skipper Alviro Petersen carries a big responsibility at the top of the order and he will need strong support from the likes of Stephen Cook, Vaughn van Jaarsveld and the promising Jonathan Vandiar.
Neil McKenzie won’t feature in this televised match (SuperSport 2 and CSN from 4 pm) as he is serving a two-match ban for dissent.
A further incentive for the Dolphins is the inaugural edition of the Champions League Twenty20 to be played in Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai from December 3 to 10.
The Dolphins and Northern Titans qualified after fighting their way into the finals of the Standard Bank Pro20 series last season.
The Dolphins leave for India in two weeks’ time and their first round-robin encounter is against India’s Rajastan Royals on Wednesday, December 3.
But for the moment at least, the Dolphins must keep their eye on the ball tonight in Potchefstroom, as they need to savour the taste of victory before heading on the path to the biggest prizes in provincial cricket’s history.
Highveld Lions: Alviro Petersen (capt), Craig Alexander, Richard Cameron, Werner Coetsee, Stephen Cook, Cliffie Deacon, Christiaan Jonker, Garnett Kruger, Jean Symes, Jonathan Vandiar, Vaughn van Jaarsveld, Dane Vilas.
KZN Dolphins: Ahmed Amla (capt), Imraan Khan, Sanath Jayasuriya, Grant Rowley, HD Ackerman, Jon Kent, Pierre de Bruyn, Daryn Smit, Johann Louw, Saidi Mlongo, Yusuf Abdullah, Quinton Friend.
TV: live of SuperSport 2 and CSN from 4 pm.
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