Opening batsman Imraan Khan will make his return to the Sunfoil Dolphins mix when the Durban side take on the bizhub Highveld Lions at City Oval in Pietermaritzburg from Friday, 18 to Monday, 21 March in a Sunfoil Series encounter.
A flare up of a skin condition saw Khan missed the Dolphins’ match against The Unlimited Titans last week, a match that saw bad light on the last day halter the Sunfoil Dolphins push for what would have been a memorable win at Sahara Stadium Kingsmead.
After their win over the Warriors two weeks ago and having coming close against the Titans, the East Coast outfit is eager to put in another strong showing this weekend.
“Unfortunately we couldn’t quite go all the way on Sunday but that’s cricket sometimes and we’re still very pleased to be playing outstanding cricket at the moment,” explained care-taker coach, Roger Telemachus.
“Our batters are coming to the party and the bowlers are sticking to their plans, hopefully that can continue for the next three games!” he added.
The return on Khan means his replacement, fellow left-hander Jonathan Vandiar returns to the KwaZulu-Natal provincial side for their Sunfoil 3-Day Cup clash against Western Province in Cape Town.
Likewise, Tshepang Dithole rejoins the KZN Inland team for their all-important Pool B clash with Boland in Paarl.
The third change to the squad sees exciting fast bowler Rabian Engelbrecht replace Craig Alexander who sustained a groin injury on day two of the Dolphins match against the Titans.
Knocks of 92 and 122 by Vaughn van Jaarsveld against the Titans saw him make a welcome return to form while Sarel Erwee’s purple patch continues after he notched up his third three figure score in four weeks last weekend.
With Khan eager to pick up from where left off before his week’s layoff, captain Morné van Wyk having raced to a hundred against the Warriors and Daryn Smit’s consistency in the middle order, Erwee believes the batting unit is starting to compliment the strong showings from the Dolphins’ bowlers well.
“We sat down as a batting unit in East London and discussed our goals moving forward and getting one of the top four to score a hundred and the other guys to chip in was one of our biggest goals that we spoke about,” admitted Erwee.
“It’s obviously also great to be good form personally; I’ve worked really hard for the last while to get to where I am now and I’m still working hard to try stay on top of my game.
“This weekend’s game will be an exciting one for me with it being my first four day game for the Dolphins in Maritzburg and I’m looking forward to getting back out there and hopefully doing well,” he added.
Having bagged 25.24 points in their two games of the second half of the Sunfoil Series thus far, the Sunfoil Dolphins will look extend their good run of form when they take on the competition’s second place occupants – the Lions – this weekend.
“This weekend we have another tough game, in different conditions up in Maritzburg, but we have our plans and hopefully things can go well for us,” said Telemachus.
“We are wanting to play a positive brand of cricket so hopefully lady luck can stay with us for the next three games and we can win a couple of those!,” added Telemachus’ co-caretaker coach, Yashin Ebrahim.
The Sunfoil Dolphins’ Sunfoil Series match against the bizhub Highveld Lions at City Oval in Pietermaritzburg takes place from 18-21 March. Play gets underway at 09h00 daily with entrance to the match being free of charge. More information can be found at www.dolphinscricket.co.za.
Sunfoil Dolphins squad:
Morné van Wyk (captain), Daryn Dupavillon, Rabian Engelbrecht, Sarel Erwee, Imraan Khan, Keshav Maharaj, Andile Phehlukwayo, Mthokozisi Shezi, Daryn Smit, Vaughn van Jaarsveld, Khaya Zondo, Roger Telemachus (coach), Yashin Ebrahim (coach)