Dolphins look to Lopsy
The Sunfoil Dolphins will be looking to sidelined Protea Lonwabo ‘Lopsy’ Tsotsobe to get their Momentum One Day Cup campaign off to a good start when they take on reigning champions the Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras at the Pietermaritzburg Oval on Sunday.
The team from KwaZulu-Natal endured a season of turmoil last year both on and off the field with coach Graham Ford stepping down from his position mid-season, star imports Chris Gayle and Shaun Tait picking up injuries and failing to start a match, while nine games, spread across the then One-Day Cup and the MiWay T20 Challenge, ended in no-results because of inclement weather and, in one case, an unplayable pitch.
However, Dolphins skipper Daryn Smit, who has taken over the captaincy reins from Imraan Khan, is confident that the hard work put in through the winter under new coach Lance Klusener, as well as a fully fit squad, will signal a change of fortunes for the Durban-based franchise.
Left-arm seamer Tsotsobe, the world’s top-ranked one-day international bowler as recently as March this year, will want to make an impression after his move from the Chevrolet Warriors to the Dolphins during the off season.
The match against the Cobras also represents an opportunity for him to re-establish his credentials in the one-day format and he will be keen to impress the national selectors after being left out of the Proteas’ touring party to Australia.
Understandably, Smit is keen to harness that hunger to his team’s benefit.
“We’re looking forward to what Lonwabo has to offer, not only on the field but in the change room as well,” Smit told supersport.com.
Other players who catch the eye will be the victorious Hong Kong Sixes duo of David Miller and Robbie Frylinck, both of whom played starring roles in South Africa’s recent victory at the event.
“By their own admission, both players have not had the best start to their season, so hopefully those little cameos for the Sixes team will kick-start their season,” he said.
Unfortunately, the weather has played its part in disrupting the Dolphins' preparations in the run-up to Sunday’s game. But, as Smit points out, it has been the same for most of the teams.
“The opportunity of having outdoor nets and practice matches has been hindered, but as we always say, you can only control what you can control, and we try to be as best-prepared as we can be,” he explained.