The Sunfoil Dolphins head into this weekend’s double RAM SLAM T20 Challenge assignment against the Chevrolet Warriors and Chevrolet Knights with coach Lance Klusener looking for a more consistent effort from his charges.
The Durban side has clinched bonus point wins in both home encounters at Sahara Stadium Kingsmead last week but endured disappointing away defeats to the bizhub Highveld Lions and Nashua Cape Cobras.
“I think you will have ups and downs, that’s just the nature of (T20 cricket),” explained Klusener.
“We’d like to get onto a bit of a roll and string a couple of (wins) together and get ahead of the pack.
“You are going to have a couple of hiccups along the way though and hopefully we’ve had ours already,” he added.
Despite being at the bottom of the table and yet to secure a point in the competition, Klusener knows better than to write off the Eastern Cape opposition.
“The Warriors are always dangerous, especially back home.
“They kind of just always stay in the game and quite a few times in the past we haven’t stayed in the game or haven’t paid them enough respect that they deserve and have paid the price for that.
“As long as we’re paying them that respect and we’re nailing our skills then we’ll be okay; it’s when you take your eye off the ball that you struggle.”
Sunday’s clash with the The Unlimited Titans saw the introduction of Keshav Maharaj for the first time in the competition and it immediately proved a telling one.
“I think we got the balance right (against the Titans).
“It’s taken a while for us to find that [balance] but if the spinners are going to bowl like they did then it’s going to be good for us!
“The wicket suited spin a bit but it was nice to see (the spinners performing well), especially for Keshav who got his opportunity after a while (on the sidelines).”
Maharaj has received little game time for his franchise in both the Momentum One Day Cup and the RAM SLAM T20 Challenge thus far but has remained positive throughout and his 3/21 together with fellow spinner Prenelan Subrayen’s 3/23 leaves Klusener likely to field the same eleven for Friday’s contest.
“Its been tough for Keshav; he played quite a lot of games for us last season and at the Champions League but didn’t find himself starting (at the beginning of the RAM SLAM T20).
“His attitude has been great though and he took his opportunity on Sunday!
“We’ll have a look (at the pitch in Port Elizabeth) first but if they have had sun then we’ll probably look at a similar selection to the one from Sunday,” confirmed Klusener.
West Indian ODI captain and Dolphins international signing Dwayne Bravo was also pleased to see the introduction of a second spinner to the team.
“Going with two spinners was a decision that I believe needed to happen.
“When you look at teams that do well in T20, they play two spinners. Regardless of the conditions or the surface, they always play two spinners.
“Spinners play a key role in T20 cricket; they can bowl at the top of the order, they can bowl in the middle, they stifle the scoring and they also pick up wickets so I’m happy that we played two spinners in the last game and hopefully we can do the same (on Friday),” said Bravo.
Having been in South Africa barely a week and already the Calypso King’s catchy dances moves and Carribean flair has seen him become a crowd favourite as well.
So infectious are his celebratory routines that the likes of Craig Alexander, Khaya Zondo, Sibonelo Makhanya and even the usually more introverted Prenelan Subrayen have gotten in on the act recently.
“Everyone knows internationally that I’m about entertaining the fans and having a bit of dance but what really surprised me in the first game that I played here for the Dolphins was seeing some of the guys dancing also!
“It was good and I was very happy to see that because the guys here enjoy their cricket and like to have fun, which is important.
“You need to enjoy your cricket and enjoy yourself because at the end of the day we are entertainers,; we play for the fans so we must play fair, play honest and play hard but at the same time make sure we give the crowd their money’s worth!” emphasized Bravo.
The Sunfoil Dolphins square off against the Warriors on Friday 14 November before returning to Durban for the second of the competition’s tripleheader clashes on Sunday 16 November where all six franchises will be in action at the same venue on the same day.
Sunday’s action gets underway at 10h00 when the Titans face the Cobras. The day’s second game between the Warriors and the Lions gets underway at 14h00 before the hosts, the Dolphins come up against the Knights at 18h00.
Tickets are available from www.ticketpro.co.za and gates open at 08h00 on Sunday.
Fans attending Sunday’s action at Kingsmead also stand in line to win a Dwayne Bravo authentic player’s replica shirt. Details will be available via www.facebook.com/DolphinsCricket or www.twitter.com/SunfoilDolphins shortly.