Dolphins wary of Lions backlash
Sunfoil Dolphins captain Daryn Smit is wary of a potential backlash from the bizhub Highveld Lions when the two sides face off in their Momentum One-Day Cup clash at Sahara Stadium Kingsmead in Durban on Wednesday.
The log-leaders suffered their first loss of the season when they went down by six wickets on the Duckworth/Lewis method to the Chevrolet Knights on Friday. “They’re top of the log for a reason,” Smit said on Monday. “They’re a well balanced team and I think coming into this game on the back of a loss, is not ideal for us.
“They’ll be pumped up to get back to winning ways. We’ll have to be fully prepared.”
However, he admitted that the way the third-placed Sunfoil Dolphins played in their last two games would stand them in good stead for the match. The KwaZulu-Natal franchise ousted the Chevrolet Knights in Bloemfontein, before beating the Nashua Titans at in Durban on Friday.
Those results came after failing to win any of their opening three games, one of which was a no result due to rain.
Smit continued: “It’s a bit frustrating that it took us so many games to get ourselves going. But rather it happened at the beginning of the competition where you have a bit of time to regroup, gather your thoughts again and get going in the right direction.
“I think it is important now halfway through the competition that we keep building on this momentum taking it into the important back end. The way we played to win the last two games shows what we’re capable of and if we can do it again, I’m positive we’ll come out on top again.”
Opposite number Stephen Cook insisted their first defeat of the campaign was “nothing to panic about”.
The bizhub Highveld Lions skipper is still the top run-scorer in the competition with 335 runs, more than a 100 clear of his closest rival, while his team also boasts the top wicket-taker in Hardus Viljoen (15).
“There were just a few areas we didn’t quite perform in and it’s a case of now getting back on the horse as quick as possible.
“It’s a good thing that these games come thick and fast, there’s an opportunity to bounce back immediately.”
Cook believes the Sunfoil Dolphins will be desperate to bounce back after suffering a crushing 89-run loss to the Johannesburg outfit a little over a week ago.
“I think we played particularly well against them at the Wanderers,” he added. “But it looks like they’ve bounced back pretty strongly from that with those two good wins.
“We know they have a lot of pride and expect them to come at us.”
Play starts at 3pm CAT (SA, GMT+2) on Wednesday.