Photo Credit: Cricket South Africa
Warriors coach Robin Peterson wants his team to finish the 4-Day Domestic Series season strongly when they welcome the title-chasing Hollywoodbets Dolphins to St George’s Park in Port Elizabeth from Tuesday.
The match is one of three scheduled in what is the final set of franchise fixtures for the 2020/21 campaign. The teams that finish top of their respective pools will qualify for a five-day final that is scheduled for next week.
The Warriors’ hopes of getting there all but ended last week when rain prevented too much of play in their round six game against the Six Gun Grill Cape Cobras in Cape Town, but their coach admits that there is still plenty at stake for every team.
“We’re looking forward to ending the season well,” Peterson said. “We know it’s the final match of the season, but it’s still first-class cricket and a wonderful opportunity for the guys to end the campaign well.
“On top of that, we must remember that there are still places in the national team up for grabs and this is a big chance for player to lift up their hands and stake a claim, show the selectors that they have what it takes to play Test cricket. So we will be talking it extremely seriously.”
There is still a mathematical chance of qualifying for the final for Peterson and his team – the Eastern Cape franchise (72.68) will need to win big and hope the Pool B leaders Momentum Multiply Titans (86.84) lose big to the Imperial Lions.
But their coach is not worried about equations too much.
“We’ll have to see how the game goes, we can’t look too far ahead,” he adds. “Play the first two days as we would in any four-day outing and then reassess from there. We’ve always been a competitive unit and we will continue to challenge teams, in this instance the Dolphins, when they come here to play that final game starting on Tuesday.”
Imraan Khan’s Dolphins have a more realistic chance of qualifying for the final. They have 100.92 points in Pool A, just over a point fewer than the VKB Knights (102.08), who are away at the Cobras this week.
“I don’t think anything changes for us really, it’s still about trying to impose our brand of cricket within the game, it’s about sticking to our processes and I think if we execute well then the rest kind of takes care of itself,” the coach of the KwaZulu-Natal franchise explained. “That’s what we’ve spoken about throughout the season in all formats of the game, so I don’t think too much changes.
“Obviously as you get deeper into the contest then I guess it becomes natural to cast your eye towards the Knights fixture, but before that not too much of focus on them. We just need to focus on the job we need to do.”
The Dolphins also have momentum behind them after beating a strong Lions team in Johannesburg last week.
“It was a fantastic performance from the team to win at the Wanderers,” Khan concluded. “To come away with a result such as that one was brilliant. We were in trouble in that second innings and Keshav really turned it for us by playing so positively. So we’re delighted to be in the situation we’re in now heading into round seven.”
More information on the 2020/21 4-Day Domestic Series can be found here.