Two down, eight to go, but the Dolphins know better than to bask in the glow of their opening victories in the Sunfoil Series and their position at the top of the log.
They are keenly aware that first-class success has been a rare visitor to Durban in recent years. Although they’ve shared the trophy a couple of times, the Dolphins haven’t actually won the national four-day competition since Dale Benkenstein’s team pulled it off in 1996/97 - a distant 20 years ago.
Yesterday, the Dolphins paid a lightning visit to their home ground for a morning practice and a media session, before they head off to the highveld today for their third consecutive away game, against the Titans at Centurion starting tomorrow.
The two victories on the road have placed the Dolphins in a promising position, but, right now, a good start is all it is. They will need no reminding that there are still 32 days of first-class cricket left.
Dolphins captain Morne van Wyk welcomed the consecutive away matches as a way of building team spirit.
“We’ve ticked a lot of boxes off the field, and sometimes when that happens things go right on the field,” he said.
Grant Morgan was also happy to be away from home, not least because the team have so far avoided all the spring rains that have saturated Durban.
The coach also had a typically exotic way of describing the team-building process.
“It’s like a marriage. At the beginning you stand in front of the altar and offer your vows. We had our team-builder just before we went on tour, everything was new ... people stood up and spoke from the heart.
“There was quite a lot of emotion. So you could say the marriage is fresh and we’re treating each other well.”
He was adamant, however, that the serpent of complacency had been “knocked on the head”, and he expected a “bitter battle” against last season’s champions under new coach Mark Boucher.
The ‘blue-collar’ Dolphins have so far made up for their lack of superstars with excellent teamwork, careful preparation and two remarkable individual performances from players who usually fly beneath the radar.
Left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj, now with the Proteas in Australia, captured his best match analysis of 13/157 against the Warriors, while all-rounder Robbie Frylinck went one better against the Lions, grabbing 14/62 - the best first-class return since the start of franchise cricket 12 years ago.
“I’m not really a stats person,” he said Tuesday, “and for me the biggest thing was the team winning. Obviously the support has been overwhelming, and it’s a nice record to have.
“It’s a little badge for me, especially the names I overtook (Kagiso Rabada and Dale Steyn). It just goes to show that if you set your mind to it and put the hard work in, anything’s possible.”
The Dolphins were unchanged for the first two matches, but there will be changes for Centurion with the enforced absence of Maharaj and the loss of Sibs Makhanya. In their places come off-spinner Prenelan Subrayen, all-rounder Senuran Muthusamy - who offers left-arm orthodox spin - and returning ODI star Andile Phehlukwayo in a squad of 12.
It is also understood that leg-spinner Imran Tahir has made himself available for the Dolphins’ next two matches, against the Knights at Kingsmead next Thursday and the Cobras in Paarl the following week.