Upbeat Dolphins ready for tough Sunfoil Series run-in

Another impressive batting display from the Hollywoodbets Dolphins in their high-scoring draw against the VKB Knights last week gave them their sixth bonus point in seven games, which took the Durban franchise to the top of the Sunfoil Series log with three home games to play starting with a clash with the bizhub Highveld Lions in Pietermaritzburg from Thursday to Sunday.

With a tough assignment ahead of the side they will welcome back Proteas star Keshav Maharaj, whose duties with the national test side have come to an end which will be a boost to the home side at their second home in the capital city of KwaZulu-Natal, however coach Grant Morgan has been happy with how his charges have fared.

“We have missed out in one bonus point battle this season – to the Titans – so it shows you that we are doing some good things, but we know that things can change quickly and in a flash we can go from first to fourth on the log,” he mentioned on Tuesday.

“Having Kesh back in the mix for the four day competition after contributing well to the Proteas will help him settle in easier.

“And to have him in the side, not only from a bowling point of view, but from an all-round point of view, his batting, his fielding and his leadership will be massive for us.”

Although the Dolphins have gained one of their internationals back they have lost another in the form of Andile Phehlukwayo, who’s been given a maiden call up to the Standard Bank Proteas T20 squad for their T20 series against Sri Lanka starting on Friday.

With a handful of all-rounders in the side Morgan has had the luxury of playing five seamers in the previous two encounters which has meant that the pressure of bowling large numbers of overs has been quite limited.

“The rational of going in with five seamers is that Sen (Muthusamy) isn’t a front-line spinner yet and he has to open the batting so we are able to protect him a little, and yes the seamers did bowl a lot of overs but they were spread out across five of them which lightens the load a bit.”

Morgan, who is no stranger to the Pietermaritzburg Oval, having been the coach at KZN Inland previously, believes that the ground does not suit either the bowlers or the batsman but can provide a good, fair contest.

“The batsman looking for an excuse to not make runs won’t make runs and the bowler looking for an excuse that it isn’t a wicket that he doesn’t want to bowl on won’t succeed.

“Conversely, the batter who goes there with a good attitude, there are runs there and there are wickets for all types of bowlers, that’s how I see Maritzburg,” he added.

Craig Alexander, Cody Chetty, Rabian Engelbrecht, Rob Frylinck, Keshav Maharaj, Sibonelo Makhanya, Senuran Muthusamy, Calvin Savage, Mthokozisi Shezi, Vaughn van Jaarsveld, Divan van Wyk, Morné van Wyk (C), Khaya Zondo.