Coach Grant Morgan admits that the Momentum One-Day Cup final loss last weekend has hurt them, but he is confident the Hollywoodbets Dolphins have the mental strength to bounce back when they launch their CSA T20 Challenge bid on Saturday.
The KwaZulu-Natal franchise welcome the VKB Knights to Kingsmead in the opening round, just days after being crushed by the Multiply Titans in the 50-over final in Centurion.
“It was a tough one in Pretoria, we had our own challenges as a team towards the back end of the 50-over campaign,” Morgan reflected.
“We were reeling a bit, we had to regroup and then we came back well in the end. I think the final has jolted us a bit, but we’re a mentally strong group and we have had some time to regroup now.
“We had two days off after we got back. It’s been quite a long and relentless preparation for each competition this season, and the turnovers have been so small, we decided just to give the guys a break.”
Their progress in the one-day competition represented some respite after a difficult four-day campaign.
But this is a totally different tournament, according to the Dolphins coach. “We’ll look to pick up from reaching last year’s final and we now have the distinction of having played in three white-ball finals in a row,” he added. “We’re a work in progress, so for those who don’t want to respect us, good luck to them.
“We can strike anyone on our day and we can strike hard. So we look forward to a good T20 Challenge.”
The Knights have endured a poor campaign overall. They were never in the mix in either of the first-class or List A competitions and have also had to deal with the mid-season departure of coach Nicky Boje.
His replacement Alan Kruger’s side have just never managed to hit their stride, but spinner Eddie Leie says there was still hope for them.
“Some wise guy once said it’s not how you start, but how you finish,” he stated. “Hopefully we can end well and go into the off season as a happy team because more than anyone else, I think we deserve at least a play-off position, if not winning.
“It will be a nice little feather in our caps.”
HEAD TO HEAD – Hollywoodbets Dolphins v VKB Knights
Matches Played 23
Dolphins Win 10
Knights Win 11
No Result 02