The bizhub Highveld Lions are likely to hand a franchise debut to South Africa Under-19 star, Kagiso Rabada, when they travel to Sahara Stadium Kingsmead this week to take on the Sunfoil Dolphins in the Sunfoil Series.
Rabada played a key role as South Africa lifted the Under-19 World Cup at the start of the month, most notably taking 6 for 25 in the semi-final against Australia in Dubai.
The 18-year-old fast bowler subsequently made his first-class debut for Gauteng upon his return to South Africa, and has taken a combined 7 for 105 in his first two games.
Now he will take the next step as he joins up with the Lions squad for their penultimate game of a largely disappointing season.
“We’ve faded badly so there’s no way that we can get near the Cobras or the Knights,” said Lions coach Geoffrey Toyana. “It’s been a tough season for us so I’m just asking for the guys to finish strong.
“I might give some of the young players an opportunity this week and see what we have for the future. The big find will be Kagiso Rabada, who will come through this week and we can see what the young man can do for us.”
The Dolphins have unearthed some big finds of their own this season, with fast bowler Daryn Dupavillon and left-arm spinner Tabraiz Shamsi taking five-wicket hauls on debut and 24-year-old batsman Sarel Erwee scoring an unbeaten half-century in his first franchise game earlier this month.
Facing a long injury list, coach Lance Klusener expects the youngsters to enjoy further opportunities in the last two games of the season.
“We’ve got a few of injuries going around, so it’s nice to have a look and see whom we’ve got in the cupboard,” said Klusener.
“Jonathan Vandiar, Calvin Savage, Vaughn van Jaarsveld and Robbie Frylinck are all out.”
Kyle Abbott will return to Dolphins duty after missing the last couple of Sunfoil Series outings due to his involvements with the Proteas.
HEAD TO HEAD – Sunfoil Dolphins vs. bizhub Highveld Lions
Matches Played 19
Dolphins Win 04
Lions Win 06
|MATCH STATS (SUNFOIL SERIES)||SUNFOIL DOLPHINS||BIZHUB HIGHVELD LIONS|
|Highest Score||567/9* (Johannesburg 2011/2012)||553/8* (Potchefstroom 2007/2008)|
|Lowest Score||147 (Durban 2007/2008)||102 (Potchefstroom 2013/2014)|
|Highest Individual Score||208 Hashim Amla (Johannesburg 2011/2012)||186 Alviro Petersen (Johannesburg 2011/2012)|
|Best bowling in a match||7/45 Mthokozisi Shezi (Durban 2009/2010)||12/101 Chris Morris (Johannesburg 2012/2013)|