Dolphins end fantastic season on a high
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DURBAN - The Hollywoodbets Dolphins bagged two of the three titles that were up for grabs in all three franchise competitions this season.
In the longer format of the game, the Durban side won the 4-Day Domestic Series when they beat the Momentum Multiply Titans by an innings and 76 runs at Hollywoodbets Kingsmead Stadium on Monday.
Last month, the Dolphins shared the Momentum One-Day Cup title with the Imperial Lions after the match was washed out at Senwes Park in Potchefstroom. They also made it into the Betway T20 Challenge final but lost by four wickets to the Lions.
Head coach Imraan Khan thought it was an incredible effort from the team in difficult circumstances and they had put in really good work leading up to the season.
“We knew we needed to improve our four-day and first-class cricket, so we put a lot of emphasis on that. Then to see the boys react and play the cricket they’ve played this season, they have been consistent, they have been hungry, they have been motivated across the various competitions,” said Khan.
He said the Dolphins always had potential and that potential was fulfilled in white ball cricket, the 50-over and T20 competitions, formats they have been consistent and challenging in.
“I think the challenge has always been in the longest format of the game, not because of a lack of abilities but because we had not been consistent in our performances. That is something as a coach that you place a lot of emphasis on when you’re trying to get us to become a competitive four-day team because we believe we have the skill sets in the squad,” said Khan.
“Then it was nice to see the boys play the way they have this season and fulfilling that ability. There’s still a need to build and develop as a team but it’s been a good season.”
KwaZulu-Natal Cricket Union (KZNCU) chief executive Heinrich Strydom said they were incredibly proud of their achievements this past season and being announced as the number one affiliate in the country made it even more special.
“We have been very consistent in the white ball formats over the past few seasons, having won three Momentum Cups in the last four years, as well as qualifying for finals in the T20 format,” said Strydom.
“The red ball trophy is a particularly pleasing one as it came in a format where we’ve not tasted a lot of success over many years.”
Strydom said the season was dedicated to all members of the KZN cricket family that died during the year.
He said on Monday they reflected on what their victory would have meant to late KZNCU president Ben Dladla, who passed on in December.
“He would have been so proud of what the team has achieved. He was an integral part of the growth at the union,” said Strydom.
He added that the pandemic was tough on the coaching staff and players. Their medical team – Nick Moffit, Gavin Muir and Dr Kevin Subban – were superstars in ensuring that they kept players fit, healthy and in peak condition. Their resilience was a key aspect to their success.
Strydom said that while it was the end of the franchise era, it was merely the foundation for the Dolphins team to launch from.