4-Day Franchise

Dolphins aim to be party poopers against Cobras

2019-01-25 20:01
Imraan Khan (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Dolphins assistant coach Imraan Khan is relishing the prospect of finishing their 4-Day Domestic Series campaign on a high note when they welcome the log-leading Cape Cobras to Pietermaritzburg from Monday.

The 2018/19 first-class season draws to a close next week with top versus bottom locking horns at the City Oval.

"I think it's going to be a great season finale, them wanting to secure the title and for us trying to end the campaign on a high," Khan said. "From our point of view, it's been a very young team that we've been picking in recent weeks and we just want these players to continue showing development at this level.

"Hopefully we can take those vibes into our one-day campaign and into next season as well."

In what is an exciting end to the term, the visitors take a narrow lead of just over three points over the Highveld Lions into round 10, but every scenario remains a possibility.

The Cape Town side can secure the title with a win, a draw or even a loss, but because of bonus points, they can also surrender it with either one of those results, depending on what their closest rivals manage to achieve in their clash with the Warriors in Potchefstroom.

For the Dolphins, they can end as high as third should they win and Khan is keen for a solid finish, especially after they were denied a possible victory earlier this week.

"I think we've played good cricket in the second half of the season, bar the one match against the Lions," he added. "I thought we were really good against the Warriors over these past few days.

"Towards the end especially we were good and if we had a clear day, then the outcome could easily have been different. The guys showed good fight and character as well."

For Cobras coach Ashwell Prince, all the focus over the next week will be on playing their natural game in KwaZulu-Natal.

"There's just a few points in it now, so it's going to be an exciting finish," he stated. "We know that we have to go out there against the Dolphins and win the game.

"We're just happy to be in with a shout. We know if we win the game, we'll have a good opportunity to come out on top."

There has only been one other game in Pietermaritzburg this season, but that clash with the Knights was heavily affected by the weather and ended in a draw.

Results in the city often prove difficult to come by due to the climate, but Prince says that is something beyond their control.

He continued: "Conditions will play a role. It could rain, it could be bad light, but those sorts of things are out of our control.

"We've got to try to play as best we can in the time we do get to play. That's all that matters. We respect the opposition and have to play a good game."

The Cobras produced a professional performance this week when they bounced back from defeat to the Warriors in the previous game by crushing defending champions the Titans in Oudtshoorn.

"I was very happy with the way we played this week," he added. "We came to Oudtshoorn expecting it to be tough to get a result because of the nature of the pitch. Obviously, we wanted certain conditions and we wanted the ball to spin a bit, which it did.

"So it was a good pitch and credit must go to Dane Piedt and George Linde, I thought they bowled really well this week and obviously drove us to victory.

"The captain led from the front and has had sensational season... 52 wickets so far. He fully deserves it because he's been working hard. He's led our team well."


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