MODC: VKB Knights vs Hollywoodbets Dolphins Preview

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Both the VKB Knights as well as the Hollywoodbets Dolphins will be looking to get back to winning ways after suffering their first defeats of the season this past weekend.

Will the Free State franchise be able to make home ground advantage count or will Khaya Zondo and his boys find a bit of joy in Bloemfontein?

VKB Knights vs Hollywoodbets Dolphins | Wednesday 1 March | Manguang Oval | 14:00

To Win Match
Knights 1/1 | Tie 35/1 | Dolphins 8/10

VKB Knights
On the surface it seems quite strange that the Knights haven’t been priced up as favourites for this match. They were widely regarded as one of the best young sides in this competition with a bowling attack that could run through even the strongest teams.

Their threat is significantly blunted, though, without the likes of Duanne Olivier and Theunis de Bruyn who have linked up with the South African Test side. The absence of the two was apparent as the Knights went down without so much as a whimper to the Warriors, who at the start of that match had been comprehensively outplayed in their two prior games.

The runs will need to come from somewhere in de Bruyn’s absence. Running through the top scorers in this season’s competition you’ll only find three Knights players in the top 35 – simply not good enough for a side that is looking for a title push.

Nicky Boje will be hoping that Pite van Biljon and Rudi Second can pick up the slack. Both are quality players who just haven’t come off yet this season. Both will be looking to make significant contributions with the bat on Wednesday.

Bowling wise, the Knights look okay with Shadley van Schalkwyk and Marchant de Lange both putting good performances with the ball. Dillon du Preez and Aubrey Swanepoel have provided good support to the main strike bowlers.

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Hollywoodbets Dolphins
The Dolphins also suffered their first loss of the season at the weekend, narrowly losing out to a resurgent BuldNat Cape Cobras side. Solid performances at the top of the order from Vaughn van Jaarsveld (54) and Morne van Wyk (111) simply weren’t capitalised on by the middle order.

In the end, the 256 posted by the Dolphins wasn’t quite enough as the Cobras got over the line with four balls to spare thanks to a great little knock by Rory Kleinveldt. The KwaZulu-Natal franchise probably missed out on the economical bowling of Keshav Maharaj who has linked up with the Proteas in New Zealand.

 I don’t think there are any question marks around the Dolphins’ batting depth. There are one or two worries regarding the attack though. Robbie Frylinck is clearly the best bowler in the side in the absence of Maharaj.

Mtokosizi Shezi didn’t impress last time out while Rabian Engelbrecht hasn’t picked up a wicket in the last three games. To add to Engelbrecht’s pain, he was hit out of the attack in just two overs by Richard Levi. Whether or not he’ll get another crack remains to be seen.

If anything, I'd give Rabian another run against a weaker Knights line up. A couple of wickets in Bloem will do his confidence a world of good after the humbling he received this weekend.

Verdict: Dolphins 82/100
I just think that the Knights will continue to struggle without any of their players who find themselves on national duty. David Miller, de Bruyn, de Lange and Olivier are the heartbeat of this side. With only Marchant available to Boje, I feel that the Dolphins will be too good in Bloem. Back Khaya and the boys at 82/100.

Written by Jason Dewey for

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