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Dolphins survived a scare in their previous match as they somehow managed to defend their subpar total. They will be looking to put up a significantly better performance in their next match, which is to be played on Sunday, 23rd February, at City Oval, Pietermaritzburg. With that win over Cape Cobras, Dolphins got themselves into a pretty good position as far as qualifying for the playoffs is concerned, and another couple of wins should be enough for them to ascertain a playoff berth. Warriors, the team the are up against in this upcoming match, are still pretty much in contention not only to qualify for the top spot, but also to finish at the top of the ladder and win here will open their doors for that. Both the teams are evenly matched and this should be a cracker of a contest.
Dolphins are coming off a superb win in their previous match, in which they defended a paltry total of just 183 on a surface which didn't have too many demons, to be fair. Their bowlers did a tremendous job and they will be looking to continue to build on it and get closer to the playoffs. As it stands, they have four wins to their name in five matches, amounting to a total of 18 points.
In their last match, which was against the Cobras and in which they registered a 26-run win, their batsmen failed to deliver anything of substance, but their bowlers did a tremendous job to get four important points. Batting first on a difficult surface to bat on, SJ Erwee and G Roelofsen got them off to some sort of a start, but their middle order fell like a house of cards. Khaya Zondo added 21 runs to the total, but it was the Keshav Maharaj's innings that kept Dolphins afloat in the match. Along with P Subrayen, Maharaj added 66 runs for the seventh wicket before the latter was dismissed. Maharaj scored 50 runs off 77 balls and was resposible for Dolphins win over the Cobras.
While Maharaj got them into a position from where they could challenge the hosts, it were their bowlers who won Dolphins the match. Keshav Maharaj was instrumental here as well as he picked up four wickets for 24 runs in his ten overs. He was ably supported by DM Dupavillon, who returned with the figures of 3 for 39. O Cele, P Subrayen, and S Muthusamy returned with a wicket each.
In the tournament up until now, Dolphins have impressed in all the departments of the game. Their batsmen have done well with the bat in racking up huge totals while their bowlers have delivered when their batsmen have failed to. With buckets of confidence and massive momentum behind them, the Dolphins will not be an easy side to beat in the upcoming contest as well.
Sarel Erwee, Grant Roelofsen, Marques Ackerman, Senuran Muthusamy, Khaya Zondo, Sibonelo Makhanya, R Frylinck, K Maharaj, P Subrayen, D Dupavillon, Okuhle Cele.
The Warriors didn't get off to the kind of start they were looking for as they lost their opening encounter to Cobras. In their subsequent four games, however, they managed to win two and are now placed at the third spot on the points table. They have eleven points to their name as they won both their matches by reasonably good margins and will be looking to rise to the second spot with a win in this upcoming encounter. They would also want to improve on their net run-rate of -0.043, which could be crucial should things get closer towards the back-end of the tournament.
After losing their opening two matches to Cobras, Warriors bounced back into the tournament with a convincing win over the Knights, but lost their subsequent match to the Titans. They then defeated Lions in their fourth match and that would have imbibed them with tremendous amount of confidence. The most remarkable thing about their win over the Lions was that they won the match with significant ease. After keeping Lions to a relatively low total of 221, the Warriors won sealed the deal with more than six overs to spare and six wickets in hand.
Onke Nyaku and Lutho Sipmala were the picks of their bowling as they picked up five wickets between them without giving away too many runs. Nyaku returned with the impressive figures of 3 for 39 in his 10 overs and Sipmala picked up two wickets for 29. Shaun Tait and Andrew Birch contributed as well as they returned with two wickets and one wicket each respectively.
While the Titans did not start the tournament from where they left off in the last edition, they are certainly picking up speed. A wash-out in their last match has undoubtedly put brakes to their campaign, but another couple of wins should push them where they want to be. Their last victory came over one of the best sides of the tournament and that, too, with significant ease and that would act as a major confidence booster for them. Regardless of that, we expect Warriors to come out all guns blazing in their upcoming encounter and beating them isn't going to be easy, even for the high-flying Dolphins.
Edward Moore, Marco Marais, Yaseen Vallie, Matthew Breetzke, Sinethemba Qeshile, Lesiba Ngoepe, Onke Nyaku, SSB Magala, Lutho Sipamla, Dyllan Matthews, Stefan Tait.
This is going to be an exciting encounter on multiple accounts. The two teams aren't too far apart on the ladder and a win here for the Warriors will further bridge the gap. Dolphins, on the other hand, have been the team to beat in the tournament so far. Going by the fact that their is so little to choose between the two sides, it is going to be a closely-fought contest. Having said that, the Dolphins have the momentum of five wins in the tournament behind them and will be more confident of two sides. They have already defeat Warriors in the tournament before and will be looking to do that again. Comparing the two sides on all accounts, Dolphins appear to be a tad better, and are, therefore, better placed to emerge on top in this upcoming encounter.
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