Lopsy gives Dolphins boost
Cape Town - Sunfoil Dolphins coach Lance Klusener concedes that his side is underprepared for its opening Momentum One-Day Cup fixture against the Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras in Pietermaritzburg on Sunday.
Durban has been beset by rainfall over the past two weeks, while the KwaZulu-Natal franchise has had three of its four first-class games already badly affected by the weather this season.
“Preparation has been disastrous; we’ve hardly been able to get outside to practise,” Klusener said. “We’ve done as much as we can and talked a lot, but in terms of the preparation, we’ve not had enough.
“There’s been a lot of rain around.”
The forecast for Sunday’s match at the Pietermaritzburg Oval is far better than it has been over the last fortnight, with temperatures of close to 30 degrees celsius predicted. That has given the Dolphins cause for optimism ahead of the 50-over leg of the season and Klusener is hoping that cricket will take centre stage when they face up to the defending champions.
The Dolphins have found victories a rarity across all formats in recent years and, even though they have showed promise in their four Sunfoil Series outings this season, they have yet to taste success.
“We obviously would like to win every game we play, but at the same time we have had weather affect three out of the four games we’ve played,” he said. “So I’m not too worried, especially in the four-day format.
“With one-day cricket there’s more likely to be a result and we would like to win every game. We have high expectations for the five or six weeks ahead. It will give us a good idea of exactly where we are.”
One positive Klusener can look forward to is the Dolphins debut of Proteas left-arm seamer Lonwabo Tsotsobe, who is in the squad for the first time this season. “He hasn’t had as much match practice as he would have liked. But he’s in the group. He’s a quality performer and I’m sure we’ll see that in the weeks ahead.”
On the other hand, Cobras coach Paul Adams has had to make do without the services of fast bowler Rory Kleinveldt, who took the place of Tsotsobe in the national Test squad. However, they will welcome limited-overs specialist Charl Langeveldt into their squad, along with big-hitting Richard Levi, who will be desperate to make up for his poor showing for South Africa at the ICC World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka.
The Cobras are currently top of the four-day standings and will be expecting to carry that form into the 50 overs competition. But Adams has played down such thoughts, saying: “The guys have been playing well, but obviously it’s a new competition and a new mindset. We’ve been trying to reset and adapt to the change.”
He also expects his players to keep their feet grounded despite last year’s successes. “It’s a brand new season, last year is forgotten. We have to put all the expectations away and play each moment as it comes.
“Everyone is ready and hopefully we can hit the ground running on Sunday.”