Lions wary of dangerous Dolphins

Enoch Nkwe (Gallo Images)
Enoch Nkwe (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Highveld Lions coach Enoch Nkwe is worried about the dangerous Dolphins ahead of their CSA T20 Challenge semi-final at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg on Wednesday.

The Durban franchise, so poor and inconsistent for most of the competition thus far, produced two brilliant back-to-back wins that helped them squeeze into the play-offs at the expense of defending champions the Titans over the weekend.

And having qualified for all three of the white-ball finals that have been played over the last two campaigns, Grant Morgan's side are seen as a huge threat by Nkwe.

"We're very wary of the Dolphins," he warned. "They are an extremely dangerous side as they've proved in these past two games.

"They were in the final last year, they were in the last two 50 over finals so they know how to play when it gets to the crunch end of the season.

"We do understand the threat they pose. They will come out here determined. We just have to make sure we're ready for them."

The Lions themselves did not look like they would end top of the table, but they did with two stellar wins against the Cape Cobras and then the Titans in their final two round robin games.

Both came after a poor showing to the Warriors in their final home game of the season.

"It's been very interesting what's happened after all those rained out games," Nkwe continued. "We did battle to find some momentum before that, but then suddenly we've regrouped after losing to the Warriors and beat the Cobras and the Titans.

"The guys have dug deep, did some soul searching and have hit back exceptionally well. I'm just really happy with how the group has responded."

The Lions coach is determined to now carry that form into their semi-final in front of their home fans, who he says need to be rewarded for 'not being so good at the Bullring' this term.

"Hopefully what has happened creates some good momentum going into our semi-final at home," Nkwe added. "The guys are in a good space mentally and what has happened in the last two games has also created some good confidence.

"This is a massive game for us and we need to make sure we keep trusting our systems. I'm looking forward to it."

The Dolphins, meanwhile, have their own story to tell. Despite reaching three out of the last three finals, they have not won one of the titles outright - the best they did was sharing the One-Day Cup crown with the Warriors last term.

Morgan stated that he is pleased to be in the last four and aims to up the ante against the Lions.

"We put our heads down and really gave everything in those last two games," he said. "We found that extra ten percent we were looking for and we were really smart about how we went about doing things."

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