Optimism aplenty for Dolphins


As another opportunity for silverware becomes available, the Dolphins under the new regime of coach Grant Morgan and captain Khaya Zondo see the upcoming One Day Cup as a chance to win their first 50-over trophy in the franchise era.

The Durban-based side take on the Titans in their opening One Day Cup match at Supersport Park Centurion on Friday.

Having ended in the middle of the table in the 2015/2016 edition of the One Day Cup, the Dolphins’ white ball form has not been as strong as coach Morgan would have liked with the side disappointing in the CSA T20 Challenge.

“We are very excited about the upcoming 50-over competition and looking back I feel that in the Sunfoil Series we didn’t deliver a fourth place performance, I think we were better than that,” Morgan said.

“With the shift back to white ball cricket, I think that myself and the team might have learnt a few things during the T20 competition but we come out the other side a stronger team.

“I also just want to say that I am really excited to see Khaya (Zondo) taking over the captaincy and honoured in the way that Morné gave up the role.

“Myself and Khaya formed a good relationship during his two games in charge during the Sunfoil Series, and I am not paying him lip-service, I am really excited to have him at the helm,” Morgan added.

The Dolphins welcome back Sarel Erwee to the squad after the left-hander was sidelined with a nasty finger injury. The opener, who scored an impressive century in his last One Day Cup encounter against the Multiply Titans will add some class to the top of the order.

With two four-day captaincy gigs under his belt, Khaya Zondo is not worried about the pressures that the shorter formats of the game pose. He hopes that through strong performances from himself and his team it can make his transition to captain an easy one.

“Whether I was going to become the captain now or in five years time the fact is that the test was going to come so I am not too phased whether it is T20 or 50 over cricket – it’s just a different kind of pressure.

“I am going to try and lead the troops as best I can and if the guys are performing then it can also make the captain look good!” Zondo mentioned.

Zondo’s form through the Sunfoil Series was prolific with the middle order batsman amassing an impressive 740 runs throughout the four-day competition so recreating that form in the shorter format will be paramount for the 26 year-old.

“Personally I am going to have to keep putting good performances together with bat, in the field and with the ball if needed.

“I don’t think that too much has changed for me, I will just need to take on the challenges that captaincy will throw at me and deal with them.”

DOLPHINS SQUAD: Cody Chetty, Rabian Engelbrecht, Sarel Erwee, Rob Frylinck, Keshav Maharaj, Sibonelo Makhanya, Kyle Nipper, Calvin Savage, Mthokozisi Shezi, Prenelan Subrayen, Vaughn van Jaarsveld, Morné van Wyk, Khaya Zondo (c)