A home semi-final against the Warriors is the second to last step in a bid for Momentum One Day Cup glory for the Hollywoodbets Dolphins when the co-defending champions face up to each other at Kingsmead on Thursday.
The Dolphins have had an up and down campaign with a strong start, a tough middle patch, and then a strong finish which included a bonus point victory over the Warriors in Port Elizabeth last week.
“Over the past two campaigns that I have been involved in we have followed a similar course getting to this stage,” coach Grant Morgan said.
“You could argue that in the past two seasons we have eventually made the semi-finals quite comfortably in the end.
“We have addressed all the challenges that we have had this season and we have ended the group stages as well as we could.”
The 50 over competition has been a strength of the Dolphins and Morgan knows that his side has the ability to beat every team in the tournament should they fire as a unit, something that he believes they are still yet to do.
“We are struggling to find that B-plus game consistently. I think we did found it against the Warriors in PE and we have played better away from home than we have on our turf.
“I think it is quite apt that we can play against a side that has been a challenge for us and now it is time to put the record straight at home after beating them at their home,” a determined Morgan commented.
The Dolphins will welcome back Andile Phehlukwayo into the mix for this crucial clash. Phehlukwayo has been a stand out all-rounder for South Africa in limited overs cricket this summer and will be a welcome addition to the Dolphins side.
“Andile has been on form the whole season for us and for the Proteas,” captain Khaya Zondo said about the youngster. “He will definitely boost both our batting and our bowling so it is a pleasure for us to have him back in the side.”
The Dolphins batting line up has begun to find the form that they showed early in the competition and SJ Erwee currently occupies second spot on the run-scorers list. Having a bowling attack that can back up the batsmen is going to be crucial on Thursday.
“We have started stringing together partnerships again and it must be said that two of our last four games have been shortened by rain and in the games where we have got partnerships the game has been closer to 50 overs,” Morgan mentioned.
“When we play close to the 50 overs then our batting and bowling come into their own because we can draw out the game with our spin component.
“The bowlers have learnt a lot this season. They have all fetched a bit but they have grown and no matter what combination we put out on to the field on Thursday they would have been tested at some stage this tournament.”
The Momentum One Day Cup semi-final between the Hollywoodbets Dolphins and the Warriors at Kingsmead starts at 1:30pm on Thursday afternoon and the host union has made available a buy-one-get-one-free offer to encourage their local fans to support their side in this crucial knockout match. Click here to buy tickets now at Ticketpro!
Hollywoodbets Dolphins v Warriors – Squad:
Sarel Erwee, Vaughn van Jaarsveld, Marques Ackerman, Dane Vilas, Khaya Zondo (c), Sibz Makhanya, Senuran Muthusamy, Andile Phehlukwayo, Keshav Maharaj, Eathan Bosch, Okuhle Cele, Prenelan Subrayen, Lwandiswa Zuma, Daryn Dupavillon.
Get more info on the Hollywoodbets Dolphins here: www.dolphinscricket.co.za