Warriors face tough test against Dolphins
The Warriors know how important a positive result will be as they head into their third 4-Day Franchise Series clash against the Dolphins starting in Durban on Monday.
Having started the campaign with a home loss to the Highveld Lions, the Warriors put up a strong showing in their following match, away to the Titans in Centurion.
The Warriors shaded the batting and bowling points in the Titans match and had a good chance of gunning for a win had rain not put paid to a decent portion of the game.
“The progression we had last week after a disappointing first weekend was very good,” coach Rivash Gobind said.
“We competed very well against the Titans and there’s a lot of good stuff that happened in that game, which we can take into the next game.
“I would say we’re headed in the right direction. We just need a result now.”
Gobind accepts that the challenge will be a tough one against an ever-improving Dolphins outfit.
“They’ve got a quality squad,” Gobind said. “If you look at them from top to bottom, they’re riddled with SA A team players.
“They have one of the best squads, they’ve got the No 1 Proteas spinner (Keshav Maharaj) and it’s a serious team. It will be a big challenge and we look forward to it.”
Eddie Moore and Mo Vallie were in the runs in that game and will be hoping to continue their rich vein of form.
Opener Moore made 116 not out and 73 while Vallie made 52 and an unbeaten 69.
Such has been their form with the bat that Moore heads the national averages, with Vallie in third position.
At No 5 in the rankings is talented young middle-order batsman Sinethemba Qeshile, who has been impressive in first three franchise matches.
So it is clear, the batsmen have been doing their bit and the bowlers started coming to the party in Centurion, with star offspinner Simon Harmer taking four wickets in the first innings.
Dolphins assistant coach Imraan Khan realises the threat the Warriors pose.
“They had a really good four-day campaign last year when they finished second, and they’re coming off a good game against the Titans, a draw which they probably had the better of, so it’s going to be a tough challenge,” Khan said.
The former Proteas opener said his team would need to be more consistent with the bat, having surpassed 300 only once so far this season.
“The game as a whole against the Knights, there were a lot of positives to come out of it, but obviously we lost that second innings of ours really badly and that didn’t give us a chance in the game,” he said.
“We obviously want to rectify that.”
In the two other matches starting on Monday, the Highveld Lions take on the Knights in Johannesburg while the Titans host the Cobras in Centurion.
The latest log standings after two rounds are: 1 Cobras 49.78 points; 2 Knights 28.90; 3 Lions 28.54; 4 Titans 27.50; 5 Warriors 21.04; 6 Dolphins 20.74