Hollywoodbets Dolphins coach Grant Morgan is looking ahead and not back to the past as they prepare for their final Momentum One-Day Cup league phase clash against the VKB Knights at Sahara Stadium Kingsmead in Durban on Thursday.
The match is essentially a quarter-final with the winner guaranteed progress and the loser having to rely on other results to decide whether they remain in the competition.
The hosts blew their chance of going into the game in a relaxed mode after they were beaten on Sunday by the Multiply Titans, who have subsequently overhauled them at the summit. “Sunday’s game has gone, the sun has come up again and we have another chance to impress and book a spot in the business end of the competition,” Morgan reflected.
They are now second on the table, just a point ahead of the third-placed Knights, with the Titans four points ahead at the summit.
The men from the north also have a far superior run-rate and the Dolphins will, in all likelihood, need to win with a bonus point and hope the Titans lose to the bottom-placed BuildNat Cape Cobras if they want to secure a direct ticket to the March 31 final.
The team that ends second on the log will host a Qualifier against the third-place finisher for the right to play the No. 1 side, who will also have home advantage in the final.
Morgan was just happy still to be in contention. “It’s a privilege to be in our position and to be playing cricket and to be under pressure at this late stage in the tournament,” he added. “We are in a place in the competition where we can express ourselves against the best players in the country.
“But with that pressure, we should never fear any team in this competition. We have experience, talent and form – all the right ingredients to take us all the way.”
The Knights’ prospects of earning a direct ticket to the final are even slimmer. They are five points behind the leaders and will need to win by a bonus point in Durban and hope the Cobras hammer the Titans in order to swing the massive net run-rate advantage.
The Central franchise have gone largely unnoticed in the last few games as they have crept up the table into third position and Boje will just be content with a place in the top three. “We’re always confident,” said the Knights coach. “We picked up a bit of momentum going into the last third of the competition.
“The main thing has been our focus on each and every game, hopefully we’ll do the same tomorrow and worry about what happens after tomorrow when the game is done.”
Recalling their high-scoring affair from Tuesday, Boje added: “It was a little bit close at the end, but it was a very good cricket game. We saw three unbelievable hundreds by three quality players. It was just a good game of cricket.”