The Dolphins welcome the high-riding Titans to Kingsmead on Friday, seeking just one more win from their last four One-Day Cup matches to secure their semi-final spot.
The Dolphins face an incredibly demanding schedule of four matches over the next seven days that will determine their spot on the log going into the semi-finals the following week.
With four wins and two losses from their opening six matches, the Dolphins will hope that their meeting with the high-flying Titans on Friday will be just as successful as their first meeting with the Sky Blues, where the Durban side emerged victorious by 12 runs at SuperSport Park.
The Dolphins say they are not thinking about the play-off stages yet, but rather keeping their discipline and eyes on the short term.
‘The focus going into this final stretch is definitely just game by game,’ said assistant coach Imraan Khan.
‘We are going to work hard on finishing as high up on the log as we possibly can, but we are not looking at any semi-finals yet.
‘I don’t see any merit in looking too far ahead, to be honest. We just need to keep our eye on the ball because we are playing against a very good Titans team on Friday.’
The Titans currently occupy the top spot on the log and have hit some form through the middle part of the competition. Khan understands that their side poses a significant threat ahead of a tough period of games.
‘They have been playing some really good cricket in their last two or three games, so it is going to be another tough game, but we are certainly up for the challenge.
‘This Friday is also our last home game of the group phase, and our record is played four, won two, lost two, so we would like to finish off on a positive note.
‘It is a busy period, but as I said, we are going to take it game by game and then assess at the end of the pool stage,’ he added.
The Titans claimed a significant win over the Cape Cobras on Wednesday without their run-scoring machine Aiden Markram, and Dolphins batsman Sarel Erwee believes that the depth they have means they have players ready to step up.
‘He (Markram) has scored a lot of their runs, but there are three or four other guys who are just as capable of scoring the same number of runs,’ said Erwee.
‘With that said, to lose a guy like Aiden does add a little more pressure on the other batsmen, and we need to make sure we are accurate against them with the ball.’
The Dolphins follow Friday’s match with a trip to take on the VKB Knights in Kimberley on Sunday.
Veterans Rob Frylinck and Morné van Wyk are players missing from the 15-man squad. However, young Marques Ackerman and Lwandiswa Zuma have been included.
The Titans are presently flying high at the top of the table, having won four in a row, including a devastating 10-wicket win against old foes the Cape Cobras in Centurion on Wednesday.
They rolled over the Cape side for a paltry 151 in the game, thanks to four-fors from Junior Dala and Chris Morris, with debutant Diego Rosier smashing an unbeaten 92 off 62 balls to lead them to a one-sided win.
‘You have to give credit to our bowlers,’ said Rosier. ‘They put in a phenomenal effort, they hit their lengths, stuck to their lengths and today was our day.
‘Lucky for us we came out on top. We produced a dominating performance and that’s what counts. We’re really grateful for what’s happened for us in that last game.’
Photo: Anesh Debiky/Gameplan Media