The Dolphins will regain the services of four key players when they travel to the Diamond Oval to take on the Knights in the Sunfoil Series on Sunday. Imran Tahir missed the Dolphins’ defeat to the Lions in the opening round of the competition due to suspension, while Andile Phehlukwayo was involved in the South Africa Invitational XI that took on England and Keshav Maharaj and Khaya Zondo were both with South Africa A. Although Morne Van Wyk remains absent due to a hand injury, the increased resources have given coach, Lance Klusener, confidence that the Dolphins can bounce back from a loss that was essentially sealed over the first two days of the game – even if they fought valiantly to avoid it on the final day.
Klusener says: ‘We got into the game a bit late, so we were a bit reactive. Bowling a team out for 215 or so means you always have an opportunity, and we missed that, which was frustrating. Our bowlers have bowled nicely but we need to back it up with the bat. I always feel that if we can get 350 or 400 on the board in our first innings then we’re seriously in the game.’
The Knights were the surprise package of the first round, trouncing a star-studded Cobras side in just three days. After poor limited overs campaigns, they now have reason to believe that they can make an impact in the four-day format. Coach Nicky Boje says: ‘The way the guys bowled in the first innings gave us a lot of confidence, and then the batters played their part as well.’
With Luthando Mnyanda back from his spell with the South Africa Invitational XI and Reeza Hendricks available once again after performing his South Africa A duties, Letlotlo Sesele and Diego Rosier will make way despite scoring half-centuries against the Cobras. The Knights will also wait to hear from the Proteas selectors, with Boje hopeful that Rilee Rossouw may be released to play against the Dolphins if he is not picked to take on England in the Boxing Day Test.
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