The Sunfoil Dolphins camp was a busy, upbeat and jovial environment on Tuesday morning after their recent Sunfoil Series victory over The Unlimited Titans however the men from Durban are also well aware of the magnitude of this week’s assignment against the bizhub Highveld Lions that takes place at Sahara Stadium Kingsmead from Thursday to Sunday.
The Dolphins will look to carry some momentum from their spirited win in Pretoria when they head into their fifth four-day clash on the trot as they look to reduce the 17.56 point difference between themselves and the table-topping Lions.
Having been unable to defend their RAM Slam T20 title they clinched in 2013/14 and having fallen short in their bid for the season’s other trophies, Morné van Wyk and his men are eager to continue their challenge for what would be a memorable Sunfoil Series crown.
“The weekend was a proper game of cricket against the Titans; it was tough cricket, four day cricket at its best!” explained the skipper.
“The four day competition’s title is undoubtedly the toughest of the local titles to win, you’ve got to put in 40 days of top quality cricket throughout the season to be in the running.
“I feel this competition does also reflect the strength of your franchise and it tests your skills on a lot of different levels, so do well in the Sunfoil Series is definitely a nice feeling.
“The trophy is probably still the Lions’ to lose at this stage however we’ve had a good could of weeks recently and are still very much in the running so hopefully we can keep going and put in a good performance this weekend at home,” he added.
The season’s shortfalls in the shorter formats have left the side slightly frustrated however head coach Lance Klusener is pleased with how competitive the Dolphins unit has been in the prestigious four day competition.
“We would have liked to have been better in the one day competition and certainly at least played in a final but we’re still in the hunt in the four day stuff and we pride ourselves on the fact that we’ve at least given ourselves a chance with two weeks still to go in this competition,” said Klusener.
“We want to win every competition we play so I can’t we’re surprised by where we are on the log.
The guys are starting to believe that we can actually win this competition though – and it’s easily the hardest competition to win – so that’s good for us and it also reflects on the depth of our squad!”
With a seam attack of Chris Morris, Hardus Viljoen, Kagiso Rabada and Dwaine Pretorius, together with the leg spin of Eddie Leie and batting standouts Stephen Cook, Neil McKenzie and Temba Bavuma, the Lions enjoy a well-balanced and top class outfit.
While mindful of their opposition’s strength, Klusener is focused on his men’s efforts in the build up to this weekend’s clash.
“I guess this weekend will decide what happens (in the battle for the Sunfoil Series title). At this stage we’re just worrying about what we can bring though.
“The Lions certainly played well when we played them in Jo’burg but conditions will be different here on Thursday and we all start afresh so let’s just see how thing go.”
Sunfoil Dolphins squad:
Imraan Khan, Daniel Sincuba, Divan van Wyk, Graham Hume Khayelihle Zondo, Cody Chetty, Daryn Smit, Morne van Wyk, Keshav Maharaj, Matthew Pillans, Craig Kirsten, Daryn Dupavillon, Calvin Savage and Craig Alexander