RAM SLAM T20 Challenge defending champions the Sunfoil Dolphins believe they are ready for the 2014/15 campaign opener against the bizhub Highveld Lions at the Bidvest Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg on Sunday 2 November.
The match is the third and final encounter of the day as the competition’s action gets underway with a widely anticipated triple header fixture and the men from Durban are hoping for a positive start amidst the electric atmosphere expected.
“We had an opportunity to experience the triple header atmosphere last year already and it was clearly a day to remember for everyone,” explained captain Morné van Wyk. “Everybody enjoyed it, the fans were great and we had a win as well!”
“This time around will be a little bit different with us playing against the only team that will enjoy any home advantage on the day but the Bull Ring naturally has a great atmosphere so hopefully by 6 o’clock the ground will be full and we’ll certainly be ready!” he added.
Despite coming into the clash with the defending champs tag, both van Wyk and coach Lance Klusener emphasised the need for a fresh start ahead of this season’s campaign.
“It’s important we have the mentality of going out there to win the title again,” said van Wyk. “Last year is gone, it’s finished and all it should serve to do is to make us want to win it again and get a second bite at that cherry in India.”
“I don’t really think it matters what happened in the past, it’s important that we come up with new plans and new ideas on how to approach things as we’ve come a long way over the past two years so we’ve got a lot of learning to bring into this year’s competition,” added Klusener.
Van Wyk and his charges started the domestic season strongly on South African soil after a disappointing Oppo Champions League T20 debut in India and the vastly experienced campaigner believes the lessons learned and momentum built up thus far puts his team in good stead ahead of Sunday.
“We’ve been quite fortunate in that we’ve only played white ball cricket over the past two months so we should be in a good rhythm when it comes to playing T20 cricket.
“Up until just over a month ago, we were still in the heat of battle in India playing against some top quality teams in some tough conditions and how much that meant to us could already been seen by how we’ve played in the Momentum One Day Cup so far.
“We’ve only lost one game and sitting second on the log there so hopefully we can take that momentum with us into Sunday’s game,” said van Wyk.
There is no room for former captain Daryn Smit in the 13-man squad while Sibonelo Makhanya and Jonathan Vandiar return from injury and have been included in the mix once more.
Many will also have a curious eye on the crop of young bowling talent in the side after former Dolphins and Proteas legend Shaun Pollock put in much hard work with the unit in the build-up to the Lions contest.
Sunday’s action gets underway with the clash between the Chevrolet Knights and the Chevrolet Warriors before the Nashua Cape Cobras take on The Unlimited Titans. The Dolphins/Lions fixture gets underway at 18h00 and rounds out the day’s proceedings.
Fans are urged to get their tickets for the clash from www.ticketpros.co.za early to ensure they give themselves the chance to #GetCaughtRedHanded and stand in line to win a share of R1million should they catch a six cleanly on the day (T’s & C’s apply).
Sunfoil Dolphins Squad:
Cameron Delport, Morne van Wyk, Cody Chetty, Khaya Zondo, Vaughn van Jaarsveld, Jonathan Vandiar, Sibonelo Makhanya, Robert Frylinck, Keshav Maharaj, Prenelan Subrayen, Craig Alexander, Rabian Engelbrecht, Daryn Dupavillon