Returning Elgar refreshes Knights
Posted by: Cricket South Africa on Tuesday, 29 October 2013

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NEVER one to shy away from a well-tailored quote, Sunfoil Dolphins captain Morne van Wyk put it neatly ahead of his team’s Momentum One-Day Cup clash against the Chevrolet Knights at Sahara Stadium Kingsmead tomorrow.

“We’ve had a really good combination this season of some exceptional individual performances with some great team performances,” said the new Dolphins skipper with what you imagine to be the hint of a smile. Van Wyk has reason to be cheerful: indeed, the table-topping franchise are yet to lose, winning three of their six matches with three being rained out with points shared.

While the Dolphins appear to be suffering no ill-effects after losing David Miller to the national ODI set-up, the Knights will be adding to their roster rather than watching a departure. On the eve of the clash they were looking forward to welcoming back Dean Elgar from Test duty in the Emirates, with Elgar doubtless keen to help a team battling to find wins, rhythm and direction.

Combine the nuggety Elgar’s return with that of Johan van der Wath from injury and you rather feel that the Knights are a better side than their recent form suggests. “It’s important to trust the process,” said their coach, Sarel Cilliers, as he struggled to put a brave face on a disappointing campaign. “Not to change and not panic because then things really go haywire.”

As far as Van Wyk is concerned, he was keen to stress that there was absolutely no animosity between him and the Knights he knows so well. He’s already played them in Kimberley in the first-round, an experience he describes as “bitter-sweet,” and was at pains to point out that there was absolutely no animosity between him and former team mates – he might even, in fact, invite some of them around for dinner!

Talking about Sunday’s abandoned match against the bizhub Highveld Lions in Pietermaritzburg, Van Wyk fancied the Dolphins’ chances. “We had a fantastic start, it would be nice if we could get that kind of start every game,” he said. “I think we needed 23 or something to get to 250 and we would have fancied defending that with our bowling attack.”

Understandably, Cilliers was keen to be concrete. “It’s important to understand where we’ve gone wrong this season,” he said just before catching a flight from East London to Durban on Monday. At the time of speaking Cilliers said that the weather was just fine, although he added that he didn’t know what the weather gods might bring in Durban.

Hopefully they bring fair skies and no rain. After both the Dolphins and the Knights’ previous matches failed to go the distance (the Knights without a ball being bowled against the Warriors) the last thing the two need is for the weather to interfere once again.


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