It’s a battle of the underdogs in the Momentum One-Day Cup final at Kingsmead today.
Both sides come with momentum (no pun intended), having thoroughly dismantled their more-fancied opponents in the semi-finals away from home: the Warriors crushed the reigning champions with a dramatic display of power batting, while the Dolphins ruthlessly suffocated the Cobras, defending 230 with ease.
So now it’s No 3 plays No 4 after the two teams ended the league with six and four wins respectively. In head to heads, the Dolphins ran riot in Port Elizabeth, winning by 79 runs, to which the Warriors replied with a seven-wicket win in Durban.
That’s the fascinating thing about the Warriors: you are never sure what you are going to get. Their strength lies in the collective, for they have no Proteas stars on whom to pin their game; they have grown up with the mongrel mentality: fighting for scraps.
‘That performance [against the Titans] really showed our potential,’ said coach Rivash Gobind. ‘But it’s now in the past and we need to refocus.’
The Dolphins have not won a 50-over competition since 2002. But at least they can boast their second limited overs final, after they met the Titans in the Ram Slam. That, however, did not end well, as they were beaten by seven wickets with 53 balls to spare. And that must be an incentive, especially since they are at home.
Judging by the first ODI against India at Durban, spin may hold the key. In this department, the Dolphins are particularly well served, with Keshav Maharaj, Prenelan Subrayen and Senuran Muthusamy.
Against them, the Warriors can put Jon-Jon Smuts and Colin Ackermann, who took 4-48 when the Warriors won in Durban last time out.
The Warriors, under Malibongwe Maketa, reached the final of both the T20 and the One-Day Cup last year.
They take thing as they come. ‘It’s what we strive for from the beginning of the competition,’ said Gobind. ‘It’s great that we’ve put ourselves in a position to play in the last game and everyone is looking forward to the day.’
The match starts at 1:30pm.
Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix