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Upbeat Dolphins await Lions

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The Dolphins are full of confidence after their 247-run win over the Titans and are looking to keep the momentum going when they play the Highveld Lions in the Sunfoil Series at Kingsmead here from today.

“That’s exactly how we want to play and hopefully we can take that forward,” Dolphins captain Daryn Smit said of his side’s efficient display against the Titans.

“But we can’t get ahead of ourselves, because the Lions are a very good side. We need to stay focused and keep winning,” said Smit.

The Dolphins captain said he was happy with the Sahara Stadium Kingsmead track, and hoped that it can be replicated for the match against the Lions.

“There was definitely something in it for the bowlers, and we had to work hard with the bat before we could cash in,” said Smit.

“And it was great to see the bowlers hitting the right areas. Kyle Abbott may have got the rewards in the second innings, but they all did well as a unit, and that’s what we need to do in future.”

Smit’s counterpart Stephen Cook said his side would be wary of the Dolphins, especially on their home track.

“That’s the beauty of this competition. Everyone can beat everyone, and I guess that’s why the franchise system has produced so many quality players for the national set-up,” said Cook.

Cook was also encouraged by his side’s scrap for a draw against the Knights, especially after their surprise defeat to the Warriors in the previous match.

“I think we can put the Warriors match down to a bad day at the office,” said Cook.

“It’s unusual for us to get rolled over for 59, and I think the boys bounced back well in Potch, where we scored 300 twice in tough conditions.”

lTitans coach Matthew Maynard hopes to see an improved performance when they host the Warriors at SuperSport Park in Centurion from today.

“We just have not played as a unit this year, our bowling’s been off, our batting’s been off and our fielding too,” said Maynard.

“I’ve said it before, but I have never been one to worry about results, it’s more about the performance, and our performance levels have not been good enough.”

In previous outings, the Titans lost by an innings and 247 runs against the Dolphins, while the Warriors were beaten inside two days by the Cape Cobras, by an innings and 50 runs.

“The Dolphins played really well, but to be honest, we made it easy for them, and all the guys are down about that,” said Maynard.

The Titans welcomed the return of right-arm fast-medium opening bowler, Ethy Mbhalati, after a hamstring injury that ruled him out for eight weeks.

“He (Mbhalati) bowled a very good first spell and his second spell was impressive as well, but with the limited amount of training he has had, because of his hamstring, he became fatigued very quickly, which from my point of view, is understandable,” said Maynard.

Maynard will be hoping for a better performance from his other bowlers in the upcoming fixture. “Ethy had some good back-up from David Wiese but CJ (De Villiers) and Rowan (Richards) were just a little bit off,” he said. – Sapa


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