Big Potch Sunfoil Series assignment ahead for Dolphins
Durban – The Hollywoodbets Dolphins’ busy early season schedule continues
with a Sunfoil Series clash with the bizhub Highveld Lions at Senwes Park
in Potchefstroom starting on Tuesday, and the side from Durban will be
buoyed on by their impressive performance in East London last week.
The Dolphins trounced the Warriors in their opening four-day encounter by
an innings and 70 runs, but they understand that the challenge posed by
the Lions will be a completely different one following the
Johannesburg-based sides win in a low-scoring affair against the Buildnat
Cape Cobras at the Wanderers recently.
The 2016/17 is still very much in its infancy following only one round of
Sunfoil Series action however Dolphins head coach Grant Morgan has seen
some positive signs from his charges already.
“The attitude of the guys last week was terrific but more specifically
their attitude in the field was great,” Morgan said from the team’s base
in the North West province.
“The guys really dominated for good periods of the game and despite Keshav
(Maharaj) being the major difference the whole side pulled their weight
and the boys are feeling proud of how they have started the season.”
The Lions side were emphatic 10-wicket winners in their opening Sunfoil
Series encounter on the Highveld so Morgan understands the challenge that
they will pose, but apart from this the mentor understands a number of the
Lions players on a personal level.
“I have actually coached a lot of the Lions guys as they made up the bulk
of my Strikers side. I do know them quite well but in saying that we are
never going to underestimate them as we know they are a good unit.
“We really want them to work hard for every inch when the game starts
tomorrow and the boys are in a good space so we are excited for the
challenge,” an optimistic Morgan added.
Cricket South Africa announced on Monday that Dolphins all-rounder Keshav
Maharaj, along with Unlimited Titans spinner Tabraiz Shamzi, had been
called up to the Proteas Test squad for the upcoming tour of Australia.
Maharaj was destroyer-in-chief of the Warriors last week when he took
career best match figures of 13/157 as well as scoring a better than a
run-a-ball 72 to help set up victory, and in the same breath bag the man
of the match award.
Although this last performance has improved the all-rounders shares in
cricketing circles he has been at the forefront of the Dolphins’ efforts
for a number of seasons and with consistent performances with the red ball
it has resulted in a call-up to the international arena.
“I had a bit of a frustrating off season and I just wanted to get going
this season so it was a great way for me and the team to start the
season,” Maharaj mentioned.
“It was a surreal feeling getting that phone call and I think I still
can’t quite believe I have been selected for South Africa but I am now
just focusing on contributing to the Dolphins side this week in another
tough fixture against a good Lions side.”
Maharaj has become a vital cog in the Dolphins side in all three formats
of the game, he is delivering with the ball but he has taken
responsibility for scoring runs at the back end of the innings and has
developed into a versatile all-rounder.
“I have worked hard on all elements of my game and I see myself as a
proper all-rounder, especially after I started making good contributions
with the bat towards the latter part of last season.
“I want to continue to improve my fielding as being a quality all-rounder
makes it easier to get picked for sides.
“I am looking forward to meeting up with the team and taking in as much
knowledge as I can but I am focused firmly on contributing to the Dolphins
this week as we take on the Lions,” he explained.
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HOLLYWOODBETS DOLPHINS SQUAD:
Morné van Wyk (captain), Craig Alexander, Tshepang Dithole, Rabian
Engelbrecht, Sarel Erwee, Robbie Frylinck, Imraan Khan, Keshav Maharaj,
Sibonelo Makhanya, Calvin Savage, Mthokozisi Shezi, Daryn Smit, Vaughn van
Jaarsveld, Khaya Zondo