Durban - The Dolphins are eager to take advantage of a vulnerable Cape Cobras outfit, says captain Daryn Smit, but they remain cautious of a backlash from their hosts this week.
The two sides meet in a Sunfoil Series clash starting in Cape Town on Thursday.
The Cobras lost by eight wickets to the Highveld Lions after a spectacular batting collapse in their second innings last week, which saw them fold to 169 all out, though they remained more than 11 points clear at the top of the table.
"I think we can definitely take positives from the result over the weekend, knowing that the Cobras are beatable, but on the flip side, it might also be a bad thing," Smit said on Tuesday.
"They will be even more determined to come back harder and stretch that points gap at the top of the table.
"The guys have put in some hard work in the Durban humidity, though, and it's a big game for us. We just hope our hard work will be rewarded."
The Warriors and the Lions were hot on the heels of the Cobras, with the Warriors set to play the Knights this week, and the Lions preparing for a match against the log-bottom Titans.
"The Lions have a game against the Titans, who aren't doing so well, so that will be even more motivation for the Cobras to come back strongly," Smit said.
While the Dolphins have struggled this season, having won just one match and lying second last in the standings, Smit said there were some good signs.
"This season we have started bowling sides out and taking 20 wickets which is a big positive for us," the skipper said.
"We have bowled ourselves into winning positions but we haven't quite been able to wrap up games as well as we would have liked."
Lance Klusener took over as coach at the start of the season, and while it had been a frustrating season for the coach with bad weather and frustrating performances impacting their results, Smit said Klusener's influence had been a positive force and had inspired a different brand of cricket in the Dolphins camp.
"Lance has come in and changed our brand of cricket and motivated us and kept us positive, and I think that has shown in, like I said, the way we have taken wickets. He's good to have around and we're all learning a lot."