Coming off a morale boosting win in Pretoria on Friday evening, the Sunfoil Dolphins head into their second Momentum One Day Cup match against the bizhub Highveld Lions at Sahara Stadium Kingsmead on Wednesday afternoon with renewed confidence following their epic run chase against The Unlimited Titans.
The Dolphins’ first home game of the tournament also begins a run of three matches in five days with building impetus being the key component according to captain Morné van Wyk on Tuesday.
“To get the win was nice and it gave the guys a lot of confidence and momentum going into our upcoming games,” Van Wyk said. “We are playing six games in two weeks so creating a bit of momentum as soon as possible is key.”
With such a busy period coming up, the captain understands how important it is that the team gets positive results during this stanza of the competition.
“We are going to need to win three of four of the next six at least in order to put ourselves in a strong position going into the second half of the season,” he added.
The side will be without the services of Imran Tahir, Kyle Abbott, David Miller and Ryan Mclaren for the trio of fixtures as they have joined the Proteas for the tour of New Zealand and Australia, although the latter two did not feature against the Titans.
The fourth player to drop out of the squad is 18-year-old Andile Phehlukwayo who has to return to Glenwood High School where he is currently in matric.
With these losses there has been a shift in the make-up of the squad for Wednesday night’s match under lights in Durban. The coaching nucleus has gone with adding six names to replace the four that dropped out of the squad that beat the Titans.
Recent acquisitions Thandi Tshabalala and Rabian Engelbrecht join fellow debutant Sibonelo Makhanya who travelled with the squad to the recent Oppo Champions League T20 in India.
Daryn Dupavillon, Kyle Nipper and Keshav Maharaj have all tasted cricket in Dolphins kit in the past and will be looking to make an impact if given the chance in any of the three upcoming games starting with tomorrows clash with the Lions – who beat the Chevrolet Warriors in their tournament opener.
Coach Lance Klusener was aware for some time that a number of players would be called up to the national squad and sees their absence as a chance for the players to step up and take their opportunity.
“A lot of the guys coming into our squad have been involved with us at the Champions League and have been involved in the squad for the whole season thus far. It is an opportunity for them and we had kind of planned for this anyway,” the coach mentioned.
Being back at home at Sahara Stadium Kingsmead is a chance for the Dolphins to build on their first result but Klusener is aware of the fact that home hasn’t always been a fortress for the men from Durban in the past.
“It is always nice to play at home and towards the end of last season we started to play well at home because it was always a challenge for us getting the result at home before then. We are still mindful of that fact but if all eleven of us pitch up then we will be okay,” he explained unperturbed.
Squad (for next three fixtures):
Morne van Wyk, Cameron Delport, Cody Chetty, Vaughn van Jaarsveld, Khaya Zondo, Daryn Smit, Robbie Frylinck, Craig Alexander, Sibonelo Makhanya, Rabian Engelbrecht, Prenelan Subrayen, Daryn Dupavillon, Keshav Maharaj, Kyle Nipper and Thandi Tshabalala.