DURBAN - Que sera sera - whatever will be, will be! The Dolphins seem to have adopted that motto for the Ram Slam 2017 campaign, and that easygoing and positive outlook seems to be paying dividends.
Khaya Zondo’s men made a terrific start to the competition as they blasted the fancied Cape Cobras all over Centurion, and then held their nerve with ball in hand. Zondo, loving his leadership role, commented that they didn’t really concern themselves with opinions on their credentials as a team.
“We are not really worried about that. People will always have their thoughts, but we are just focusing on what we are doing as a team. We are very happy with the start we had at Centurion, but we also know that there is still a long way to go in the competition,” he told reporters at a sodden Kingsmead.
The Dolphins host the Knights on Friday, who will come with a destructive middle-order. The Dolphins’ youthful attack was pushed hard by the Cobras in their shortened innings on Sunday, but Zondo pointed out that the track in Pretoria was an absolute belter.
“When you score 230 for two, you know that it is a really good surface. We are not concerned about our bowlers not getting through 20 overs, because they have already done a lot of bowling in the Sunfoil Series and in the build-up to this competition,” Zondo said.
On his own form, Zondo said he was pleased to start off on such a positive note, with an increasingly violent 67 not out. His sudden change of gear saw the Durbanites set their sights a bit higher, going well beyond 200 and out of reach of the Cobras.
“It felt nice. I wasn’t too worried about starting off slowly because I knew that you can always catch up at the back end. I know that Centurion is always a great wicket, so it was just a matter of getting in.”
Zondo also made two “millionaires” on Sunday, as two of his sixes were caught in the crowd. “It was nice to see, but unfortunately none of those millions come my way,” he quipped.
Zondo added that he and his team were keen to try and help a few Durban fans also get their share of the R2 million pot that is on offer for the duration of the competition. But, beyond the fan fun, the Dolphins are focused on keeping up their momentum from a fast start.
Even more impressive was that their victory was attained without the star-power of Vaughn van Jaarsveld or Imran Tahir, two veterans who are making progress. Both could be back to strengthen the squad even more in the next week or so.
Where the Dolphins stood out in particular against the Cobras was in the agility stakes. Zondo himself was a chief protagonist, screaming at the well-set Sarel Erwee that there were two runs to be had from every shot into the outfield as they targeted the sluggish Cobras’ unit. In contrast, when the Dolphins were in the fields, they were lively, with an excellent direct hit by Prenelan Subrayen to get rid of the dangerous JP Duminy, and some sure catching.
“It is an aspect of our game that we have spoken about,” assistant coach Imraan Khan said.
“We said we wanted to take our fitness up a level and the boys have responded really well. There was some really good work in the off-season and the fielding has really picked up,” he said.
The Knights won’t lack for speed around the park and the portents point to an intriguing game between two young sides led by emerging leaders who don’t have a negative thought in their heads.Que sera sera
First home game on Friday!! Kingsmead is definitely the place to be on Friday. Don't be the one to miss out! #FillUpKingsmead