Pietermaritzburg – The Dolphins’ base camp will move up the N3 this week as they make the Pietermaritzburg Oval home once again for their crucial Sunfoil Series against the defending champions the Titans from Thursday, February 2.
As the Sunfoil Series heads into its final two rounds of fixtures the title is achievable for all six franchises, which puts the second place Dolphins under pressure as they hope to leapfrog the Knights in to top spot should they win this week.
“We have got a squad of 14 players with us in Pietermaritzburg,” Dolphins coach Grant Morgan said on Tuesday.
“We will take the same eleven that drew to the Lions with Craig Alexander and Cody Chetty remaining in the squad.
“The only addition to that squad is Prenelan Subrayen.
“Sibz Makhanya has a slight side strain which means he might not be able to bowl in the match but we will have enough fire power in the bowling ranks to do the job.”
Morgan is hoping that he can select the same eleven players that put a potentially strong Lions team under pressure in Pietermaritzburg a fortnight ago and he is happy with the direction his team is going in.
“It’s everything on the line for all the teams going into these final two games and I am really happy with how the boys have bounced back from a disappointing T20 campaign.
“We were disappointed with how the game two weeks ago panned out and with so much time lost to the weather the only positive that we could take from it was that we were the side pushing for a result.
“This week we are going up against a strong Titans side and they will be coming here to get a win following their defeat to the Cobras – who are putting some big pressure on all the other teams now.
Following a disappointing T20 campaign and a soul-searching break the Dolphins have been in strong positions in all three of the Sunfoil Series matches, which is a testament to the attitude of the players.
“We could have got a win against the Warriors and the Lions, but we lost too much time in the Knights game, with that said however we have won all but one batting bonus point in the competition.
“We have batted really well and set up games how we wanted to, we’ve dictated play well but this week is going to be just as tough as all the other games.
“Getting down to the wire now we need to manage the pressure situations and make the right calls on and off the pitch,” Morgan mentioned in his traditionally philosophical manner.
This week’s fixture will be the first in a coaching capacity for Imraan Khan who retired from the game recently to take up the position as assistant coach with the Dolphins.
The Dolphins will be encouraged by the return to form of the tournaments leading run scorer Khaya Zondo, who has scored 714 runs in his eight games, whilst Vaughn van Jaarsveld is second on that runs scorers list with 710 runs in eight games.
Craig Alexander, Cody Chetty, Rabian Engelbrecht, Rob Frylinck, Keshav Maharaj, Sibonelo Makhanya, Senuran Muthusamy, Calvin Savage, Prenelan Subrayen, Mthokozisi Shezi, Vaughn van Jaarsveld, Divan van Wyk, Morné van Wyk (C), Khaya Zondo.