DURBAN – The Momentum One-day Cup semi-finals will have a sprinkle of star power, with the Proteas having finally completed a long and winding summer of cricket on Sunday.
Those national players not headed for the Indian Premier League will all join the Titans, Dolphins, Warriors and Cobras, to make for a high-quality play-off finale for the tournament. The Titans get back the likes of Aiden Markram, Tabraiz Shamsi and Junior Dala, while the Warriors have breakout youngsters Lutho Sipamla and Sinethemba Qeshile.
The Dolphins will welcome back Andile Phehlukwayo who has just wrapped up his most successful season for the national side. He had started his white-ball campaign with runs for the Dolphins, and that then evolved into a terrific return with bat and ball for the Proteas.
In the process, he also quelled much of the doubt about his abilities as an all-rounder at the highest level.
His happy knack of taking wickets continued, but it’s the runs that have pleased his backers no end. The Dolphins will be counting on some more of the same this week, with the powerful left-hander set to slot into the top six.
Given the fact that this will be his last, meaningful 50-over cricket until the World Cup, he too must be looking to make a significant contribution this week.
The Dolphins host the Warriors on Thursday, in the second semi-final of the competition.
The Titans square off with the Cobras at Centurion tomorrow.
For the Dolphins – and the Warriors, for that matter – the door is still open to defend the trophy they shared last season.
But, given the significantly raised standard of play this season, it will take some special performances to secure the final resting place of a tournament that will cease to exist after this 2018/19 event.
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