Photo Credit: Ashley Vlotman/ Gallo Images
The Hollywoodbets Dolphins go into the 2022/23 CSA 4-Day Series with confidence as they look to get their campaign off to the best possible start when they face the Warriors at St George’s Park in Gqeberha starting on Thursday.
The Dolphins finished agonisingly close to a first piece of silverware when they lost an exciting CSA T20 Challenge final to the Momentum Multiply Titans recently and after a week off the team are excited to begin their red ball season.
Last season saw the Dolphins finish the 4-Day campaign in fourth place; however they did not lose a match with six draws and one win. Dolphins captain Marques Ackerman wants the side to be more ruthless this season but not reckless.
“Something that we are trying to imprint in the Dolphins brand is that we want to be tough to beat,” Ackerman said.
“If we are not going to win the game, we are not going to lose it and that means that if we are drawing games and winning a few then we are in contention to win the competition.
“The weather last season played quite a big part in us not finishing off a couple of the games so I think this season if we go unbeaten and have a few good wins then we will be right in the mix.”
With just a few weeks between the end of the T20 competition and the start of the red ball season, Ackerman is happy with the work that the players have put in going into these two matches before a return to white ball cricket in December.
“The guys have worked really hard on their red ball skills in the short space of time that we have had since the T20 competition.
“We had a week off after the T20 and it was a much needed break for the guys but we have been putting in the hours and we’re excited to get this season’s red ball campaign underway this week against the Warriors.”
The last time the Dolphins played the Warriors in Nelson Mandela Bay the Dolphins won by seven wickets, however Ackerman knows the Warriors will be a difficult side to beat after coming off a good win in their competition opener.
Heading into the clash, Ackerman believes that conditions might suit the quick bowlers given their last outing to St George’s Park and the bowling attack that the Warriors will line up with.
“We played there in the season before last and it was a really quick, green wicket so we are expecting the same with Glenton Stuurman and Marco Jansen in their attack.
“It’s going to be green and quick and we expecting it to nip around a bit so that’s what we have been prepping for this past week,” Ackerman mentioned.
The Dolphins will go into the match without a number of key players with Keegan Petersen, Prenelan Subrayen and Keshav Maharaj all missing out through injury.
SJ Erwee is back in the Dolphins mix after recovering from a side strain which will be a big boost for the Dolphins and the Proteas.
HOLLYWOODBETS DOLPHINS SQUAD V WARRIORS:
Sarel Erwee, Grant Roelofsen, Marques Ackerman (Captain), Tshepang Dithole, Khaya Zondo, Jason Smith, Andile Phehlukwayo, Eathan Bosch, Ottneil Baartman, Jon-Jon Smuts, Odirile Modimokoane, Thando Ntini, Daryn Dupavillon.