18 January 2018

South Africa: Dolphins Aim for Strong Home Finish

Dolphins captain Khaya Zondo admits there will be no motivation needed for the Dolphins when they welcome the Warriors to Kingsmead for their One-Day Cup clash in Durban on Friday.

The match is the first of three at home for the Durbanites over the next six days.

They also host the Titans in Pietermaritzburg on Sunday, before concluding their league phase fixtures in front of their home fans with a tie against the Highveld Lions on Wednesday.

The Dolphins (21 points) are presently involved in a heated battle at the summit.

They began the week top, but have slipped to third after the reigning champion Titans (24 points) and the Cape Cobras (23 points) beat the Lions and Knights respectively on Wednesday.

However, Grant Morgan's men do have a game in hand and Zondo says they are determined to end the competition strongly.

"The guys are motivated," the captain said. "We're doing well and we're right up there on the log. The guys are hungry, they want to do well and they want to win the trophy.

"There's not much I have to do in terms of motivating them. We just need to keep doing what we have been on the field and let the results take care of themselves."

With the battle and jostling for places set to intensify in the coming week, the pressure will also be ramped up on the top three.

But Zondo believes they are ready for the challenge.

"I don't think it comes with any pressure," Zondo added. "It's more of a privilege really. If anything, it keeps you motivated to want to do better to maintain the standards that we've obviously put out this year.

"The guys are really proud to be where we are and we want to try and stay there."

Dolphins coach Morgan is also impressed with the way his side have coped this season.

The Dolphins boss is even more pleased with the form of his players, reporting that most of his squad was now fit ahead of the season climax.

"This is the first time in a long time that we've won more than we've lost," he stated. "We're getting close to having a full squad and it's only (Lwandiswa) Zuma now that still has an injury.

"This is after Vaughn (van Jaarsveld) returned and he was looking like a million dollars in the nets.

"It's probably been our highest count of guys being fit and everyone is in form.

"It's exactly what you want. I know it's tough to choose, but that's why Khaya and I are in the positions we're in, along with the selectors and my assistant coach.

"We have to put our minds to it and bash out what we feel is the best team for the game."

The Warriors come into the game on other side of the scale.

The men from the Eastern Cape, who are second bottom with nine points, are seemingly involved in a three-way battle for the fourth semi-final spot alongside the Lions (11 points) and the Knights (six points) either side of them.

After Friday, they will host the Central Franchise and the Cobras in their remaining two games.

Source: Sport24

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