The Hollywoodbets Dolphins and the Momentum Multiply Titans will face off in the 4-Day Domestic Series final starting at Hollywoodbets Kingsmead Stadium on Thursday with an eye on the country’s most illustrious cricketing silverware.
Most professional cricketers regard red-ball cricket as the ultimate test and therefore the ultimate prize. For experienced Dolphins opening batsman Sarel Erwee that couldn’t be more true.
“Red ball cricket tests you completely from your mental skills to your cricketing skills so we see this as the most important match of the season,” Erwee said. “It’s the format that players want to do well in and that is where you showcase what you are about.
“To have the opportunity to play in a five-day match is another incredible opportunity for the guys and also to do it at our home venue has got the guys very excited.
“4-Day wins are tough so to be competing in a final is massive for us as a Union.”
This is the first occasion that the Dolphins have qualified for three finals in the same season and it’s the first time in fifteen seasons that there has been a final to decide the winner of the 4-Day Domestic Series.
The last final that took place saw the Dolphins and the Titans play out to a draw in the 05/06 season but the trophy went to the Dolphins by virtue of finishing top of the log. That was also the last season that the Dolphins won the red ball competition.
The Dolphins have had to make a few changes to their squad given that Keshav Maharaj and Daryn Dupavillon have been called up to the Proteas squad. With such influential players gone, Erwee is more than confident that those that are coming into the side will also deliver.
“The two guys we are losing have been really important to us this campaign but we have got so many quality players in our squad so they can fill those positions quite easily.
“We’re not a side that is full of superstars, we have just got guys that do well together and fight for each other and the Union.”
With the Dolphins losing the competition’s leading wicket-taker in Maharaj, the Titans lose the competition’s top run-scorer in Aiden Markram. The opening batsman is one of a few that will not be available for the Titans but Erwee knows their depth is also enviable.
“You don’t want to underestimate anyone especially a team and a Union like the Titans because they have high-quality players in that set-up.
“For us, it’s about focusing on our roles and what we have to do this week as well as what’s worked for us this season and not looking too hard at the opposition.”
The first ball on Thursday will be at 09:00 and the match will be televised on SuperSport.