Dolphins confident but cautious entering match against Knights

2013-10-18 00:00

THE Dolphins head into today’s Momentum One Day Cup clash against the Knights at De Beers Oval in Kimberley riding high after the perfect start to the campaign last Sunday against the Lions.

A six-wicket win with a bonus point saw the Dolphins top the standings, albeit for a brief moment, but at least they know they can get to the top and have enjoyed an early taste of winning, something sorely lacking in previous seasons.

However, they would do well to approach the match with caution. The Knights, a team with a mixture of experience and young, blooming talent, have not enjoyed a great start to their campaign, going down in their opening two clashes against the Warriors and the Cobras.

Daryn Smit, Dolphins captain last season, was not fooled. “It’s a classic case of being wary of the wounded animal,” he said.

“The Knights are a respected outfit and know what winning is about.

“They will be hungry for success and their game plan will no doubt be to burst our bubble after our opening win.”

Traditionally slow starters in past seasons, the Dolphins have displayed purpose this time around, something that has been high on the agenda of players and coaching staff ahead of the season.

“In the last few seasons, we have not fared well early on in the various domestic competitions, resulting in us having to play catch-up cricket,” said Smit. “This has been a point of concern in the off-season where we have placed great emphasis on starting strongly. So far, it’s been what we have wanted.”

With former Knights captain and stalwart Morné van Wyk captaining the Dolphins, the men from the coast could feel they have an undercover agent in the ranks, with Van Wyk no doubt able to offer precious advice on his former team-mates. But, as Smit says it’s a new game — Sunday’s win is in the history books, and it’s time to readjust and start again.

“If we can play up to 80% of how we did against the Lions, we should pull this one off,” he said.

“It is easier said than done, but we know what we can achieve. What we did on a tricky Potchefstroom pitch shows our potential and tonight’s Kimberley strip should be easier to cope with. That gives us the hope and confidence to push for the win.”

Smit said he was relishing revitalising his leg-spin bowling, saying it gave him new responsibility.

“I’m taking my bowling seriously and, as the season progresses, I will work on new techniques and make adjustments. It could develop into something special,” he said.

Today’s match starts at 3 pm and is not televised.

DOLPHINS SQUAD

Morné van Wyk (Captain), Kyle Abbott, Craig Alexander, Cody Chetty, Robbie Frylinck, David Miller, Keshav Maharaj, Calvin Savage, Daryn Smit, Jonathan Vandiar, Vaughn van Jaarsveld, Khaya Zondo and Divan van Wyk.

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