The Hollywoodbets Dolphins head to Potchefstroom this weekend for what is proving to be a decisive match in the CSA 4-Day Domestic Series, determined to bank a victory after three back-to-back draws.
The squad will see a number of new faces in the Dolphins colours as the team surrenders Andile Phehlukwayo, Khaya Zondo and Daryn du Pavillon to the Proteas, where they join teammates David Miller and Keshav Maharaj.
For Dolphins coach Quinton Friend, who steps up to fill the gap left by head coach Imraan Khan serving with the national team, this match has become very important.
“We pride ourselves in being a difficult team to beat,” said Friend. “We have taken a good hard look at the Knights match and felt that we let ourselves down with the bat and the ball as well as in the field.
“What we also learnt from that game is that there is a great fighting spirit in this team,” he added.
“We watched youngsters Thamsanqa Khumalo and Bryce Parsons handling some serious heat from the Free State bowlers in that second innings and that gave the team a lot of self-belief.
“It was good to see the Ruan de Swardt we know playing in such a positive frame of mind, as was Keegan Petersen,” said Friend.
He added that the key to turning their form into victories lay in consistency and attention to detail. “It is all about taking care of all those small moments in a game,” he pointed out.
With Potchefstroom traditionally offering good pace off the wicket and a fast outfield, the batting unit is seeing the opportunity against the Dragons to knuckle down and post runs consistently.
“It is a big match for us in a lot of ways, and it could be a turning point of our season,” said Friend. “We are about to go into a two-week break so it is not hard to ask the guys to give it everything over the four days before they get some time off.”
Friend said the squad of fourteen chosen for the fixture would include a number of new faces to replace the players that have been called up to the national squad, and said this was where the focus fell on the Dolphins High Performance structures.
“In previous years we would have turned to senior provincial structures, but now we are relying on our club structures more and the feeder from the HP structures being run by Robbie Frylinck.
“We may well see a few debutantes in this game, and that is a positive for us. It highlight’s the importance of the role of the HP pipeline,” Friend said.
Squad for the Hollywoodbets Dolphins v North West Dragons:
Marques Ackerman ©, Prenelan Subrayen, Keegan Petersen, Thamsanqa Khumalo, Junaid Syed, Robin Smith, Brad Porteous, Kerwin Mungroo, Ruan De Swardt, Hlompo Modimokoane, Odirile Modimokoane, Grant Roelofsen, Eathan Bosch, Bryce Parsons.