Phehlukwayo boost ahead of busy MODC week for Dolphins – Featured Durban Blog

Phehlukwayo boost ahead of busy MODC week for Dolphins:

2016AndileTraining_3Durban – The Hollywoodbets Dolphins jet off to the Western Cape ahead of a crucial Momentum One Day Cup clash with table toppers the WSB Cape Cobras on Wednesday at Eurolux Boland Park in Paarl, before consecutive games against the VKB Knights on Friday and Sunday with the news that Andile Phehlukwayo will be available for selection.

The all-rounder has been with the Proteas test squad for their first test of the Sunfoil Freedom Series against India – a test the Proteas won by 72 runs.

Phehlukwayo’s return will give the selectors a tough time in picking eleven players.

The Dolphins go into their clash on Wednesday having beaten their ‘bogey’ team the Warriors in Port Elizabeth last Friday, and after defeating the Cobras in their opening game of the campaign they will be confident heading to the Winelands.

Last season the men from Durban pulled off a memorable four wicket win in Paarl when Sibz Makhanya scored an unbeaten 55 from 38 balls to help his side chase down 271 with five balls to spare. The young middle order star and Kyle Nipper (32) added 57 for the seventh wicket from 26 balls to get their side over the line.

Despite beating the Cobras by 26 runs in their opening Momentum One Day Cup clash at Sahara Stadium Kingsmead, Grant Morgan believes that the Cape outfit is much improved.

“They are going to be a big threat for us on Wednesday,” Morgan expressed.

“They’ve been through their pain and they have been through the period where they came under some criticism.

“I think now they have found their best balance and we are going to have to be at our best to beat them.”

With two wins from three matches and a game in hand going into Wednesday’s clash, the Dolphins currently sit in third place on the Momentum One Day Cup log. The mood in Morgan’s camp is upbeat ahead of a defining week of the 50 over competition.

“The guys are helping each other out in training which I find is a very good sign – it is a sign of maturity in the group.

“This is probably the best space that we have been in since I have been involved and there is a high care factor amongst the players and a huge willingness to see eachother succeed,” the coach added.

Despite the absence of Vaughn van Jaarsveld, who hasn’t recovered from a dislocated finger, the Dolphins’ batting has been solid throughout the three matches with Cody Chetty registering a valuable half century in Port Elizabeth. With Chetty’s form as well as the form of the all-rounders, it puts the Dolphins in a strong position from a batting perspective.

“Our all-rounders like Rob (Frylinck), Calvin (Savage), Sen (Muthusamy) and Prenelan (Subrayen) have got to the stage now where they don’t allow, for example, their batting to suffer if they bowl well.

“They are too good and are now taking on true all-rounder status,” Morgan said confidently.

With the ongoing drought gripping the Western Cape, Morgan is expecting the pitch to be a dry one. This could play into the Dolphins’ hands with four spinners in the squad.

“We are expecting it to be a dry surface and we will be quite surprised if we get something different.

“With that said we have got cover in all areas so we are not worried about conditions,” he mentioned.

Having got two wins under the belt and a loss that came off the final ball, Morgan believes his team has a lot more to give in this competition.

“I don’t think that we have hit our straps yet.

“The challenge for us is to find our A-game because we have been hovering around a B-plus at the moment.”

Dane Vilas is a doubt for Wednesday as his wife Pippa is still expecting the birth of their child.

Sarel Erwee, Senuran Muthusamy, Khaya Zondo, Cody Chetty, Sibonelo Makhanya, Calvin Savage, Robert Frylinck, Imran Tahir, Athi Maposa, Prenelan Subrayen, Andile Phehlukwayo, Okuhle Cele, Morne Van Wyk, Dane Vilas, Smangaliso Nhlebela.

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Mziwilili Primary School: a breeding ground for township cricketing talent:

It looks like most South African public schools do – a series of brown buildings, with not much of a sports field to speak of.  But, unbeknown to many, Mziwilili Primary School, situated in Umlazi’s D section, is a breeding ground for much of the township’s cricketing talent.

Directly across the road from the school, Sibonga Mchunu (13), clad in gym gear from head to toe, is relaxing at home with his grandparents, Daniel and Sindi.  “Cricket has made him very disciplined,” says Daniel.  “He has just come back from a jog.”

Like many of his peers, Sibonga was introduced to mini cricket at the age of eight at Mziwilili by teachers at the school who teach learners the basics of the game.  Coach Sandile Simelane of the KZNCU, DSR and Sunfoil Township and Rural Development Programme then moved him into Umlazi’s elite training sessions and there has been no turning back since.

Thanks to his talent, Sibonga – who is a spinning all rounder – was given an opportunity to complete his grade seven year (in 2017) on a scholarship at Merchiston   Preparatory School in Pietermaritzburg.

This year he’ll begin high school at Maritzburg College, also on a cricket scholarship.

“It was difficult at first,” he admits, recalling with a smile that he failed the first boarding inspection. “I almost cried. But it was a big opportunity for me, so I got used to it.”

“I learnt that you can make friends and be part of a brotherhood.”

Sibonga’s grandfather admits that cricket is not a sport he completely understands. But his grandson’s passion for the game and his talent, has motivated him to learn more about it, and he makes an effort to attend his games when he can:  “He made a 100 not out in his last game of the season for Merchiston,” he says proudly. “The coaches said this is very good.”

Sibonga Mchunu pictured beside his grandfather, Daniel and grandmother, Sindi

Sibonga Mchunu pictured beside his grandfather, Daniel and grandmother, Sindi

He credits coach Sandile Simelane for instilling a love for the game in Sibonga.  “He took him from ground level and taught him.”

He says he is excited that his grandson can attend Maritzburg College.  “Our grandchildren attend the schools here – we can’t afford other schools. We are lucky that by the Grace of God he has been given this scholarship.”

“I’ve told him to respect his elders, not to do drugs and to concentrate on his studies and sports.”

A few doors away, on the same street, Zanele Wanda is getting ready to send her son, Andile off to begin a new and exciting chapter of his life.  Andile’s talent was also discovered at a tender age at Mziwilili Primary School.  Last year he made the KZN under 13 side and impressed talent scouts.  “The amount of pace and bounce he generates impressed them,” says Sandile, who has also worked with the youngster since he started playing cricket.  Consequently, he was awarded a scholarship at Durban High School (DHS) and will commence his high school career there next week.
“I’m excited,” he says. “It’s the first time that I’m going to board.”

Single mum, Zanele Wanda is getting ready to send her son Andile off to boarding school

Single mum, Zanele Wanda is getting ready to send her son Andile off to boarding school

Zanele is slightly nervous.  “This is the first time that he’ll be away from me,” she says. “But there are better opportunities for him to play cricket there and better academic opportunities.”

Andile will be joined at DHS by Lutendo Tsanwani who also made the KZN under 13 side in 2017. He was also introduced to cricket at Mziwilili Primary School.

“The learners feel like heroes playing cricket,” says Mrs Primrose Gumede, who teaches cricket at the school.  “They enjoy learning the basics of the game and want to learn more and practise more.”

Sibonga, Lutendo and Andile and the numerous other former learners who excelled in cricket before them serve as inspiration to current learners she says.  “They see how they got into good schools and they see them as role models,” she says.

Sanelisiwe Kuzwayo, the manager of the KZNCU, DSR and Sunfoil Township and Rural Development Programme says that the relationship made with various schools make it easy for her team to do what they love.  “Primary school is where the love for the game and a life long interest in it is instilled,” she says.
“I’m very happy to see these results from our coaches – its creates that healthy competition amongst them and makes it easy to negotiate scholarships at cricketing schools.”

“The key here is to turn the African child’s challenges into opportunities – let them love these brown brick walls because at the end this is where all the good things begin!”

*The KZNCU Sunfoil DSR Township and Rural Development Programme nurtures a love for cricket amongst thousands of children across KZN. Most of the 48 townships and rural areas it works in don’t even have adequate cricketing facilities and the programme requires the support of corporates in this, as well as other aspects of its work.  For more information on becoming involved, contact Sanelisiwe Kuzwayo at

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