THE Diamond Oval will be the equivalent of the Last Chance Saloon for the Sunfoil Dolphins on Friday when they attempt to take down the Chevrolet Knights, their closest rivals for a playoff spot in the RAM SLAM T20.
Although the Dolphins remained in fourth place after Wednesday’s defeat to the Titans, it left them five points behind the third-placed Knights, having played a game more.
Victory over the Knights is, therefore, non-negotiable if the defending champions are to stay in the tournament.
“Unfortunately we have to rely on a couple of other results going our way, but because of the way that we’ve played, that’s what we deserve,” said Dolphins coach, Lance Klusener.
Asked what was the best way for him to manage his misfiring players ahead of Friday’s key clash, he replied: “Honesty – we need to acknowledge a few things.
“We’ve let ourselves done on a number of fronts, so we’re dealing with that. But we’ve been dealing with that for a bit too long now so it’s time to set things right.”
The odds would appear to be stacked in favour of the Knights, given that all three of their remaining games will be played in their home stadia.
Neither the Knights nor the other two members of the top three have lost a game at home in the competition this season.
“We know the two grounds well and the team play well there, so it’s definitely an advantage,” said coach, Sarel Cilliers. “After three weeks on the road, to have six days at home is something we’re looking forward to.”
The Knights will also be keen to finish what they started in Durban the weekend before last, when they bowled the Dolphins out for a record low score but were then denied the opportunity to chase it by rain.
Having travelled straight to Kimberley from Benoni on Thursday, the Dolphins have moved on with the same squad of 13, with batsman Chad Bowes and fast bowler Brandon Scullard the unused players from Wednesday night.
Meanwhile, the Knights have named a 12-man squad made up of the 11 players that lost to the Warriors on the weekend plus all-rounder, Dillon du Preez.
HEAD TO HEAD – Chevrolet Knights vs. Sunfoil Dolphins
Matches Played 16
Knights Win 08
Dolphins Win 07
No Result 01
|MATCH STATS (RAM SLAM T20)||CHEVROLET KNIGHTS||SUNFOIL DOLPHINS|
|Highest Score||185/5 (Durban 2003/2004)||
190/7 (Durban 2005/2006)
|Lowest Score||86 (Durban 2013/20014)||
82 (Durban 2014/2015)
|Highest Individual Score||84* Loots Bosman (Durban 2003/2004)||
103* Cameron Delport (Durban 2012/2013)
|Best bowling in a match||4/18 Andre Russell (Durban 2014/2015)||
4/21 Imraan Khan (Durban 2011/2012)