The Hollywoodbets Dolphins will look to finish the first half of the Sunfoil Series strongly when they take on the BuildNat Cape Cobras at Boland Park, Paarl from 3-6 November in the fifth round of the domestic four-day competition.
After having shared the spoils with the VKB Knights in the weather affected clash at Sahara Stadium Kingsmead last week, the KZN Franchise currently occupies third place on the log and are eager to push for a positive result this weekend before the season switches into white-ball cricket mode.
“I do feel that we let the Knights off the hook a bit last week,” says Hollywoodbets Dolphins head coach, Grant Morgan.
“We really played poorly on day one to turn a great start of 123/0 into being 191/7, but all 11 of our guys bat and the tail got us out of a bit of trouble, to a point where I felt we were in a decent position when the game ended.
“We always want to be in a higher position on the log and I feel we’ve left a couple of batting points out there in some of our previous games, but we’re reasonably satisfied with where we are.
“We’re certainly not going to go to Paarl with one foot on the T20 Challenge plane, as it were. The Sunfoil Series is a very important competition and we’re making sure that we focus ball by ball, session by session and day by day to leave ourselves in the best position we can by next Monday,” he adds.
Having suffered a broken finger while fielding during their Knights clash, Sarel Erwee is replaced by the vastly experienced Divan van Wyk at the top of the order while fast bowler Rabian Engelbrecht has been added to the mix.
Despite having been left out of the opening two games of the 2016/17 season and the Knights match only his fourth Dolphins appearance, 22 year-old Senuran Muthusamy has already left a telling mark at Franchise level.
The young left-handed batsman and left-arm orthodox bowler has notched up 232 runs, at an average of 38.67, during his four Dolphins outings thus far while his return of 4/57 with the ball against the Knights – including claiming the prize scalps of David Miller and Rudi Second – further highlights his all-round value to the Dolphins setup up.
“I’m just grateful for the opportunities at this stage and am really glad that I can contribute to the team,” says Muthusamy.
“I’m just looking to take it game by game at this stage but I think I can add a lot of value with both bat and ball and I enjoy both aspects of the game, so I see myself becoming an all-rounder slowly but surely.”
A positive result for the Dolphins against the bottom-of-the-log Cape Cobras this weekend would see them head into the Sunfoil Series mid-competition break comfortably in reach of the top of the log.
Morgan and his charges are however not taking the Cape outfit lightly and are rather looking to embrace the opportunity the trip to Paarl presents them with.
“We should always believe we can beat any team, but that doesn’t mean we’re going to Paarl expecting to knock the Cobras over and definitely aren’t taking them for granted.
“They will be a dangerous team but we’re looking to just focus on our game and avoid getting involved in a bitter battle.
“Paarl is a lovely little town and if you embrace it, you can gain success, so we’re looking forward to our trip there.”
The Hollywoodbets Dolphins take on the BuildNat Cape Cobras at Boland Park, Paarl from 3-6 November. More information can be found at www.dolphinscricket.co.za.
HOLLYWOODBETS DOLPHINS SQUAD:
Morné van Wyk (captain), Craig Alexander, Rabian Engelbrecht, Robbie Frylinck, Imraan Khan, Senuran Muthusamy, Andile Phehlukwayo, Mthokozisi Shezi, Daryn Smit, Imran Tahir, Vaughn van Jaarsveld, Divan van Wyk, Khaya Zondo