East London - Both the Warriors' captain, Davy Jacobs, and head coach Russell Domingo, are confident the Warriors will do well in the final of the MTN40 competition against the Nashua Dolphins at Buffalo Park on Friday.
Jacobs stated having six of the current Proteas squad was most comforting to him and the team.
“They bring a calmness to the team and of course plenty of experience,” Jacobs said.
“But saying that, it’s really been a team effort that has got us to the final, with a number of guys putting up their hands at different times.
“In particular Rusty Theron and Colin Ingram have been great this season.”
Will the Warriors win the match, Domingo was asked.
“I wish I could give a definite answer on that,” he replied.
“But the team is pretty confident and if any team has the psychological advantage over the other, it’s the Warriors, who have beaten the Dolphins in their last five matches.
“This is the Warriors’ third final in four years, and I know the pressure will be on us to win, but I’m sure we can do it.
“We also have a good record at Buffalo Park, but one innings or one mistake can change things, and even the weather can play a part.”
Domingo feels left-arm swing bowler Lonwabo Tsotsobe, who took 3/23 the last time the two teams met two weeks ago at Buffalo Park, could play a big role in the final.
“Yes, Lopsy has been Man of the Match on three occasions this season and he has never let the side down. He is currently going for less than four runs an over and he is a most important member of our bowling attack.”
The Warriors, who have beaten the Dolphins in their two MTN matches, as well as two SuperSport games this season, should have the upper hand.
But all too often the Warriors make it to a final and fail to overcome the final hurdle. They are the only franchise not to have won a trophy in the six seasons of the franchise system – and the time has come to get rid of this monkey on their back.
Theron, the red-headed medium-pacer, tops the wicket-takers this season while Ingram has batted maturely and easily heads the batting aggregates.
The left-hander takes a while to settle in and then unleashes his full range of strokes. He is a former SA Schools captain and so far has scored 50 or more six times including a century.
With Jacques Kallis in good form and with Mark Boucher, Justin Kreusch and Jacobs himself all in attacking mood with the bat, the Dolphins’ bowling attack, led by Johann Louw and the relatively inexperienced Kyle Abbott, are sure to suffer.
But the Warriors must beware when Dolphins wicketkeeper Daryn Smit removes his gloves and prepares to bowl his clever leg-spinners. Smit has a nasty habit of slowing down the scoring and picking up a couple of wickets during his spell of eight overs.
Two weeks ago he dismissed both Ingram and Nicky Boje for 36 runs before taking over the gloves again.
The Warriors will also want to get rid of the hard-hitting Loots Bosman, the Dolphins’ opening batsman, who attacks from the first ball.
The relatively new member of the Dolphins, David Miller, is sure to shine in the field. His brilliant catch to get rid of the dangerous Albie Morkel in the Dolphin’s semi-final victory over the Titans last weekend did much to help the KwaZulu-Natal team to win and advance to the final.
Miller was also involved in an important run out – that of AB de Villiers.
The match is expected to be a titanic, entertaining battle and a huge crowd is expected to attend. With a prestigious trophy, not to mention the winner’s cheque of R750 000 as incentives, there is much to play for for both sides.