With just one round robin fixture left for the Hollywoodbets Dolphins to secure a spot in the 2017 Momentum One Day Cup qualifier, coach Grant Morgan has asked his players to dig a little deeper in order to get the Dolphins closer to a first 50-over final since the 2009-2010 season.
The third-placed VKB Knights will be in Durban on Thursday to tackle the Dolphins who slipped up against the Multiply Titans on Sunday. The side from Durban will be hoping that with a good win they can secure a berth in the either the play-off or, more appealing, a home final.
“We have a great chance to make things right again on Thursday,” coach Grant Morgan mentioned. “Sunday’s game has gone, the sun has come up again and we have another chance to impress and book a spot in the business end of the competition.”
The national T20 Challenge crown which the Dolphins won in the 2013/2014 was their last taste of silverware, meaning that the side has an added motivation to succeed.
“It’s a privilege to be in our position and to be playing cricket and to be under pressure at this late stage in the tournament,” a philosophical Morgan added.
“We are in a place in the competition where we can express ourselves against the best players in the country.
“But with that pressure, we should never fear any team in this competition. We have experience, talent and form – all the right ingredients to take us all the way!”
His side have enjoyed a strong one day campaign with some memorable victories, including a spectacular from-the-death triumph over the Titans as well as two good wins over the bizhub Highveld Lions.
The Dolphins’ victory against the Knights at the Mangaung Oval in Bloemfontein would have been one of the more satisfying. Having lost the toss the Dolphins bundled the Knights out for 171 and a 71 from Morné van Wyk helped them to a seven wicket win.
The Knights have improved since that 1 March loss, although they might consider themselves a little inconsistent with four victories and four defeats.
Morgan’s plea to his players going into the final furlong of a long domestic season is that they find something extra to get them over the line.
“I think that at this stage of the competition it’s no longer about bowling and batting, it’s about learning from past mistakes as well as dealing with the situations in front of us.
“It has been a long year and we have been through a lot so I hope that the guys can draw on their experiences this year. They must play with that same intensity that they have been playing with when they put that Dolphins shirt over their shoulders.
“We made a promise to each other that we wanted to be the best Dolphins team we possibly could be.
“It is important that we keep it together and remain humble until the end,” Morgan said.
The competition is delicately poised with four sides vying for a spot in the play-off series with one round of fixtures left. The Multiply Titans are atop the log with 28 points with the Dolphins second (24 points), the Knights third (23 points) and the Warriors fourth (21 points).
Tickets are available at ticketpro.co.za and gates will open at 13:00.
HOLLYWOODBETS DOLPHINS SQUAD:
Cameron Delport, Rabian Engelbrecht, Sarel Erwee, Rob Frylinck, Sibonelo Makhanya, Senuran Muthusamy, Kyle Nipper, Andile Phehlukwayo, Calvin Savage, Mthokozisi Shezi, Prenelan Subrayen, Imran Tahir, Vaughn van Jaarsveld, Morné van Wyk, Khaya Zondo (c).