Dolphins keen to build on Sunfoil Series momentum

Khaya Zondo - Hollywoodbets Dolphins cricket - Sunfoil Series

The Hollywoodbets Dolphins finally broke their Sunfoil Series drought against the Warriors in Port Elizabeth recently, and following a week’s break they will be looking to continue that momentum when they host the WSB Cape Cobras in Pietermaritzburg starting on Thursday.

Victory in Port Elizabeth was paramount to keeping the Dolphins hopes of fighting for the Sunfoil Series crown alive with just three games left in the season. It was stand-in captain Keshav Maharaj’s seven second innings wickets that helped the Dolphins to a 55 run win.

It has been a long season for the Durban-based outfit who were in both white ball finals, the RAMSLAM T20 Challenge, where they lost to the Multiply Titans, and the Momentum One Day Cup, where they shared the trophy with the Warriors.

It’s been a taxing 2018 so far and to have a week where they could put their feet up was crucial to revitalise the players for the final push, according to coach Grant Morgan.

“With the injuries to our bowlers the break has come at the perfect time and it has also given our batsmen time to reflect on what has gone well but also what we can improve on,” Morgan said.

“Some guys obviously carried on working this week but for a guy like Dane (Vilas), it has been an incredibly long 12 months of cricket so he needed some time off.

“The older guys all took the opportunity to relax for a bit after what has been a very demanding season.”

The Dolphins will lose star spinner Keshav Maharaj to the Proteas as they start their Sunfoil Test Series against Australia at Sahara Stadium Kingsmead on Thursday, however Morgan isn’t too stressed about who will step into his role.

“Obviously we have got a guy like Sen (Muthusamy) who can fill that role comfortably – and he is one of the highest wicket takers in the Sunfoil Series this year.

“Then we also have a guy like Prenelan Subrayen who can come in if the conditions are suitable.”

Andile Phehlukwayo has been involved with the Proteas set-up throughout the series against India and will be returning to the Dolphins, however with his heavy work load over the last six months has not been considered for selection this week.

The Titans and the VKB Knights hold the top two spots on the log with the Dolphins sitting in fourth just behind the Warriors.

With three games left in the competition, Morgan wants his team to play the best possible cricket that they can and show their mettle in the four-day competition.

“We feel that it is our duty to our fans and to ourselves to continue to fight and looking back on our fights this season I feel that it has been us that has set up the log how it is,” he explained.

“Our two results against the Titans, and a few other teams, meant that the Titans haven’t been able to run away at the top of the log.

“We think that we have now earned the right to have a crack and we don’t see that as pressure, we see that as an energiser!”

The Dolphins will also welcome back captain Khaya Zondo to the side following his absence. The middle-order star was a member of the Proteas squad for the recent ODI series against India.

The first clash in the Sunfoil Series between the Dolphins and the Cobras was a high-scoring affair at the Recreational Ground in Oudtshoorn with Dane Vilas, Vaughn van Jaarsveld and Morné van Wyk all registering centuries.

Sarel Erwee, Morné van Wyk, Vaughn van Jaarsveld, Khaya Zondo (c), Senuran Muthusamy, Dane Vilas, Sibonelo Makhanya, Rob Frylinck, Prenelan Subrayen, Kerwin Mungroo, Rabian Engelbrecht, Smangaliso Nhlebela.

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