COACH Grant Morgan is hoping the lows they suffered during their recent T20 Challenge campaign will inspire the Hollywoodbets Dolphins to do much better when they resume their Sunfoil Series season against the Warriors in Durban on Thursday.
The hosts endured a forgettable 20-over campaign, particularly at the back end, when they lost three games they could so easily have won, to eventually finish second bottom of the table.
But their four-day term has gone far better. They are fourth on the table, but amongst five teams within 10 points of each other in what is shaping up to be one of the most open title races of recent years.
“We’re fairly satisfied with the first half of the Sunfoil Series season,” Morgan said ahead of their clash at Sahara Stadium Kingsmead. “We want to win each game we play and we want to compete for all the trophies.
“Hopefully the pain of our losses in the Twenty20 competition will spur us on to not want to feel that way again. We’ll fight hard to make sure we don’t have a repeat here.”
Their opponents from the Eastern Cape, who are a place above them on the table, are in a similar position, although they had enjoyed a memorable T20 season by reaching the final where they lost to the Multiply Titans.
“The Warriors are a good side and are probably the team that shone the brightest through that first half of the season,” Morgan added.
“They showed what grit and determination can do. They have good structures and planning. I was involved in that side before and I think they must be commended. They’ll be a handful and we won’t be taking them lightly at all.”
Andile Phehlukwayo, Daryn Smit and Brandon Scullard are all fit again and in contention, but the Dolphins are still missing Daryn Dupavillon, amongst others, through injury.
The Warriors have no fresh injuries and coach Malibongwe Maketa is desperate for his side to build on their efforts from 2016.
“We were quite pleased with how the first half went, even though we fully understand that a lot of work lies ahead,” he said. “What happened last year is done and dusted, we don’t have any trophies to show for our efforts and that’s what we want to continue striving to achieve.”
With the success of their T20 team still fresh in their memories, there is a fear that they could take a while to switch back to four-day mode.
But Maketa is confident that will not happen. “Having two captains I think will help us with that adjustment,” he adds. “Simon Harmer is now in charge and that will hopefully help shift the mental approach very quickly.”