Pietersen returns to UK ahead of Titans clash
AS the Dolphins aim to bounce back following their first defeat of the Ram Slam Twenty20 campaign at the weekend, they will now have to do so without Kevin Pietersen, the man who has spearheaded the early successes of the Durban side. “KP” came, batted and conquered – topping the batting statistics in the domestic competition as he returned to the province where he began his career.
The 35-year-old former England international finished his short stint with the coastal side midway through the competition, ending as the top runs-scorer after having amassed 364 runs in five matches which included two centuries and two fifties.
Pietersen returned to the United Kingdom on the back of the Dolphins’ first defeat of the competition after they were defeated by five wickets by the Cape Cobras on Sunday.
Tomorrow, the Durban-based side will be at Kingsmead, where they will take on the Titans in a top-of-the-table clash.
This is where it will be seen whether the Dolphins will be able to continue the good form they have shown, without Pietersen to spearhead the batting attack.
The side have been dealt a double-whammy as spinner Prenelan Subrayen was suspended from bowling because of a faulty bowling action which was revealed after an analysis that his deliveries exceeded the 15-degree level of tolerance for the elbow.
After a slow start to the campaign, the Titans bounced back emphatically after suffering defeat in their opening match to go on to win the remaining four matches of the first half of the Ram Slam.
While Pietersen has been the star of the show with the bat, bowlers from other sides have also shown their capabilities with the ball.
The Warriors have unleashed a gem in seam bowler Sisanda Magala, who shot up to the top of the wicket-takers’ standings at the weekend when he claimed his first five-wicket haul and career best figures of 5-28 against the Highveld Lions to take his number of scalps to 10 so far.
Spinners have been more dominant with the ball, particularly the Lions and Proteas pairing of Aaron Phangiso and Eddie Leie.
Both spinners have claimed nine wickets each, with Leie also hauling five wickets at the weekend against the Knights.
The Knights continue to struggle as they remain winless after five consecutive defeats and have cemented their feet at the bottom of the log.
Other Ram Slam matches will take place on Friday with the Cobras hosting the Titans at Newlands, while the Warriors will be at Buffalo Park in East London against the Dolphins.