The Sunfoil Dolphins will be looking to put in a strong performance during their Sunfoil Series clash against current table-toppers The Unlimited Titans at Willowmore Park, Benoni from Thursday 14-Sunday 17 January.
A positive result in Benoni could well see them surge into the top half of the cluttered points table though, something they will be eager to achieve ahead of the return of the second half of the Momentum One Day Cup at the end of January.
After rectifying their initial disappointment against the bizhub Highveld Lions with victory over the VKB Knights between Christmas and New Year, the Dolphins had to settle for an equal share of the spoils in their first encounter of 2016 when persistent rain in Pietermaritzburg prevented even a single delivery being bowled throughout their four day encounter with the Warriors.
With the bat, Imraan Khan and Daryn Smit have already racked up centuries in the competition and will hope to continue their good form while David Miller’s scores of 62, 33, 48 and 18 will please both he and team management alike however the number four will undoubtedly be eager to push on and record his first three figure score of the season.
Add to that the likes of stand-in captain Divan van Wyk – again set to cover for his injured brother, Morné – Vaughn van Jaarsveld and Khaya Zondo and the Dolphins top six looks a well settled and fairly experienced unit.
On the bowling front the Dolphins spinners, Imran Tahir and Keshav Maharaj were outstanding in their side’s victory over the Knights and will hope to replicate this performance once again should head coach Lance Klusener and co. again opt to go the double spin route in Benoni.
The Dolphins also have a variety of options when it comes to their seam attack with Craig Alexander – in the mix again for the first time this campaign – joining out-and-out seamers Mat Pillans and Daryn Dupavillon as well as all-rounders Andile Phehlukwayo and Sibonelo Makhanya.
Despite the Titans suffered a surprise 5-wicket defeat to the Knights in a low scoring affair in Bloemfontein in their most recent four day match, as well as the likes of AB de Villiers, Faf du Plessis, Dean Elgar, Quinton de Kock, Chris Morris and Morne Morkel all currently on national duty, the Dolphins will still be expecting to be faced with a strong Titans outfit.
The evergreen Heino Kuhn has been in good form of late for the men from up North, ably supported with the bat by Farhaan Behardien and Theunis de Bruyn while Tabraiz Shamsi, Ethy Mbhalati and all-rounder David Wiese have performed admirably with the ball as well.
Sunfoil Dolphins squad:
Divan van Wyk (Captain), Craig Alexander, Daryn Dupavillon, Imran Khan, Keshav Maharaj, Sibonelo Makhanya, David Miller, Andile Phehlukwayo, Matthew Pillans, Daryn Smit, Imran Tahir, Vaughn van Jaarsveld, Khaya Zondo, Lance Klusener (Head Coach), Rivash Gobind (Assistant Coach), Brett Edwards (Physiotherapist)