Warriors coach Rivash Gobind is wary of the battle-hardened Hollywoodbets Dolphins ahead of their Sunfoil Series encounter that starts at at St George’s Park in Port Elizabeth from Thursday.
The KwaZulu-Natal franchise have been forced into several corners this season, but like they did last week against the VKB Knights in Bloemfontein, have put up some brave second-innings shows to salvage priceless draws from matches.
They were made to follow on at the Mangaung Oval, but emerged with a shared result and Gobind knows they have a tough task on their hands in the Eastern Cape.
“The Dolphins have shown that they’re really hard to beat this year,” he said. “They’ve found themselves in some really tough positions and each time they’ve managed to dig their way out.
“We’re going to have to be at our very best to try and force a result. Hopefully we can do that over the next few days.”
The two teams shared the Momentum One-Day Cup title a few weeks ago and both will want to make that count now heading into the final passage of the season.
The Warriors made an excellent start to the second half of the term when they stunned the bizhub Highveld Lions in a low-scoring affair in East London. It was a result that propelled them to second place and Gobind believes they can take a lot of confidence heading into the final four rounds.
“It was a tight game and the fact that both teams were pushing for a result helped,” he added. “I thought we were really good over the course of the game.
“I think winning that game, the first of the second round, was really important and leaves us in a good space going to the final four games.”
Despite the fight put up by the Dolphins, their coach, Grant Morgan, admits it has been coming too late in games when the points on offer are far less compared to good showings earlier on in games.
“We can’t carry on like this because we are losing crucial first innings points and we are getting to a stage where we need to win but if we can’t we need to stay in touch and get those first innings points,” he explained. “The frustrating part is that we are spending too much time on the back foot in games and have to recoup games through some massive fightbacks.”
The Dolphins boss, whose side are fourth on the table and still very much in contention, is desperate for his side to do much better in the remaining weeks of the season.
“I would say that we have only shown hints of our A game here and there throughout the season,” he added. “We owe ourselves our A game at least three times out of the next four games.”
The Warriors squad is: Colin Ackermann (capt), Matthew Breetzke, Edward Moore, Gihahn Cloete, Yaseen Vallie, Lesiba Ngoepe, Clyde Fortuin, Simon Harmer, Aya Gqamane, Tladi Bokako, Anrich Nortje, Lutho Sipamla, Andrew Birch.
The Dolphins squad is: Keshav Maharaj (capt), Sarel Erwee, Morne Van Wyk, Vaughn Van Jaarsveld, Senuran Muthusamy, Sibonelo Makhanya, Dane Vilas, Robert Frylinck, Athi Maposa, Kerwin Mungroo, Zakariya Paruk, Daryn Dupavillon, Prenelan Subrayen.