THE table-topping Sunfoil Dolphins have been given an added boost by the arrival of England international Graham Onions as they prepare for Friday’s Momentum One-Day Cup clash against the Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras at Boland Park.
Onions landed in South Africa on Wednesday for a stint that could last the remainder of the season, and trained with the Dolphins on Thursday afternoon.
“We still have to see if he’s going to play tomorrow - he’s just got here so he may need time to settle in,” said Dolphins captain Morne van Wyk.
“He’s quite a new guy to me but he comes highly rated and highly respecte, and, if someone like Dale Benkenstein sings your praises, then you’re obviously quite an accomplished cricketer.
“I’ve seen a little bit of him in the nets and apart from his cricketing skills have heard how good he is for the team. We just want to create an environment that he can enjoy playing cricket and enjoy his time in South Africa.”
Onions spent several seasons with Dolphins batting coach Benkenstein at Durham, but is best remembered by South African fans for his unlikely contribution with the bat during England’s last tour here, when he twice helped secure a draw with England nine wickets down.
However, the Dolphins’ opponents for Friday know that they can expect a lot more from the 31-year-old seamer.
“He’s a good bowler,” said Cobras paceman Charl Langeveldt. “He’s an old county pro, and they play on lots of different wickets so even coming straight in to play at Boland Park, he’ll adjust quite easily.
“It makes a difference because the Dolphins are a good side. They’ve been a team who have been below average, but they’re on the way up now and Benkenstein brings something different to the mix.
“Their junior players have stepped up now to become senior players. I think they’re looking to win trophies now because you can’t just be building a franchise team for six years in a row. We always knew they could become a good one-day team and this year they’ve stepped up to the plate.”
The one setback for the Dolphins is the loss of match-winner David Miller to the Proteas set-up, and they are likely to turn to Cameron Delport to fill Miller’s large shoes.
The match gets underway at 3pm, and will be broadcast live on SuperSport.
HEAD TO HEAD – Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras vs. Sunfoil Dolphins
Matches Played 19
Cobras Win 07
Dolphins Win 09
No Result 02
MATCH STATS (MOMENTUM ODC)
NASHUA MOBILE CAPE COBRAS
300/3 (Durban 2009/2010)
281/6 (Durban 2010/2011)
111 (Cape Town 2007/2008)
174 (Cape Town 2012/2013)
Highest Individual Score
121* Herschelle Gibbs (Durban 2009/2010)
116 Vaughn van Jaarsveld (Cape Town 2012/2013)
Best bowling in a match
5/46 Alan Dawson (Cape Town 2006/07)
4/23 Johann Louw (Cape Town 2007/2008)