Big names in Dolphins don’t scare courageous Lions

KEVIN PIETERSEN
KEVIN PIETERSEN

THE big names in the pod of Dolphins do not scare coach Geoffrey Toyana’s pride of Highveld Lions.

The two sides meet today in a Ram Slam Twenty20 game – a top-of-the-table encounter as both teams occupy the top two spots after only one round of matches played so far.

The Durbanites boast England discard Kevin Pietersen and on-song Protea David Miller among their artillery.

The Johannesburg-based Lions are neither fazed nor intimidated by the strength of the coastal side that beat the Titans by six runs in their opening match of the competition at the weekend.

Miller showed his class in the victory at SuperSport Park in Centurion with a knock of 62 off a mere 32 balls.

Pietersen is yet to fire since joining the Dolphins, but he has a proven record as a master blaster who could dominate bowlers at any point.

“They have some big names in their squad – quality players,” Toyana agreed yesterday.

“Our motto for this season is to play the ball, not the man.

“Our job will be to work together as a unit,” he said.

The Lions’ tails are still up after their seven-wicket win over the Cape Cobras in their opening match.

“We really played well in that match against the Cobras. Since we arrived in Durban [yesterday] there has been some good energy from the boys, which is good.

“We will need to get that energy onto the field now. What will be key is that we start off well,” Toyana said.

The Dolphins are also wary of the roar that the “courageous” Lions possess.

“They are coming off a win against a Cobras team which started the competition as favourites,” Dolphins captain Morne van Wyk said.

“I do have a feeling the Lions are always a strong team. In this Lions team a lot of young guys come out with confidence and play with courage.”

While Van Wyk is happy with the start to the competition, fielding has been a concern.

“It’s always nice to win, but it’s particularly nice when you walk off the park and you feel like you had a good team performance, contributions by a lot of players,” the captain said.

“Fielding is an area we certainly want to continue to improve on. We’d like to get better. It’s not as good as we would want it to be.

“Fielding is an attitude thing. I think the effort is there.”

The match is at 6pm today.

-Chumani Bambani

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