The opening round of the 2017/18 Sunfoil Series produced a batting masterclass across the board, and following their fighting draw last week the Hollywoodbets Dolphins’ task gets more difficult as they take on defending champions the VKB Knights in Durban from Thursday 28 September to Sunday 1 October.
It was a difficult opening three days of the season for Grant Morgan’s men who found themselves continuously chasing the Multiply Titans, but they would have taken huge heart from their fourth day heroics that saw captain Khaya Zondo notch up his sides first hundred of the season.
Despite having to bat out for a draw in their opening fixture, Morgan was slightly disappointed that his side couldn’t put more pressure on the Titans in the fourth innings.
“We felt that we let ourselves down a bit last week because we got ourselves into a position where we couldn’t win the game,” Morgan said on Wednesday.
“Take nothing away from the team, led by Khaya (Zondo), to take away a result like that against a team that had a number of international players is a huge effort.”
The Knights started their season in the same dominant fashion that they finished the last, and if it was not for some resilient batting from the WSB Cobras on the final day of their encounter the Knights would have claimed a solid round one victory in Bloemfontein.
There has been a slight rejig in the side with the loss of Keshav Maharaj and Andile Phehlukwayo to the Proteas team for the upcoming series against Bangladesh. Despite this captain Zondo is confident in the players that will step into the starting eleven.
“I feel that the guys that we have coming into the side will be just as good and they know what we are trying to achieve.
“The guys coming in are known performers and have done it for us in the past before, so I have full confidence in them.
“We will also play as a team. If there is a bit of a gap in terms of skill or in the experience that Kesh and Andile have then we will cover that as a team,” he said.
Having just finished as the highest run scorer of the Africa T20 Cup for tournament winners Hollywoodbets KZN Inland, Dolphins opener Sarel Erwee has had to make the quick adjustment to red ball cricket once again.
“I have had a bit of time to reflect on what went wrong for me last week.
“Changing formats means that I just need to be a bit more patient and letting the ball come to me rather than going at it like I do in white ball cricket.
“Any confidence in cricket is good whether it be in white ball cricket or four day cricket so I am feeling good about how I am batting,” Erwee explained.
Hollywoodbets KZN Inland speedster Kerwin Mungroo gets a call up to the Dolphins side for the first time while his fellow Inland seamer Athi Maposa is also named in the 14-man squad.
Hollywoodbets Dolphins Squad: Cody Chetty, Rabian Engelbrecht, Sarel Erwee, Rob Frylinck, Athi Maposa, Sibonelo Makhanya, Kerwin Mungroo, Senuran Muthusamy, Calvin Savage, Mthokozisi Shezi, Prenelan Subrayen, Vaughn van Jaarsveld, Morné van Wyk, Khaya Zondo (c).
Grant Morgan (Head Coach), Imraan Khan (Assistant Coach), Nicholas Moffitt (Trainer), Anderson Ndovela (Team Manager).