JOHANNESBURG, March 11, 2023 – DP World Lions coach Wandile Gwavu is confident that he has the personnel and that they have the mindset to be able to beat the HollywoodBets Dolphins and pull off a CSA 4-Day Domestic Series title in the final round of fixtures in Potchefstroom from Sunday.
Lions will be without star all-rounder Bjorn Fortuin, who is joining the Proteas limited-overs squads this weekend following his well-deserved call-up, and currently find themselves 21.72 points behind the log-leading Dolphins.
Winning the match with enough bonus points is not impossible for the Lions, who have previously thrived when the odds have been stacked against them. To win the CSA 4-Day Domestic Series, Gwavu’s team need to hammer the Dolphins in such a fashion that they take home 25+ bonus points (including 15 for the win), while restricting the KwaZulu-Natalians to less than a handful of points.
The easiest way to do this is by bowling the Dolphins out for less than 150 in their first innings, thereby denying them any batting points, and by scoring a big first-innings score themselves without losing many wickets in the first 100 overs.
They also need the matches between Six Gun Grill Western Province and the DafaBet Warriors, and Momentum Multiply Titans versus North-West Dragons to end in draws.
“There’ll be no hiding by us, we’re definitely going for it and we will be giving it a full go to win the title,” Gwavu said on Friday. “It’s in our nature to play aggressive cricket anyway and we’ve scored 350 runs in most of our first innings this season. We also have a really good attack and we’ve been getting most of our bowling points over the last two seasons. So it will be nothing new to us, we must make sure we score 350 to 400 and not lose too many wickets,” Gwavu said.
The hosting of the second Test between the Proteas and the West Indies at the DP World Wanderers Stadium has compelled the Lions to play this crucial home fixture at the J.B. Marks Oval in Potchefstroom, but Gwavu and his team are not ruffled by this.
“We knew a long time ago that we were playing in Potch and we planned for it. We usually have a really good bowling pitch at the Wanderers and we’ve asked for a result wicket that will not spin too much.
Evan Jones could return to action for the Lions after the hurly-burly of the SA20, where he made such an impression with the ball for the Paarl Royals, while wicketkeeper/batsman Wandile Makwetu has also been recalled to the squad that drew with the GBets Rocks at Boland Park.
“To say I was pleased with the way we played to try and force a result in limited time in Paarl would be an understatement. We gave it our all,” Gwavu said.
The same effort, coupled with good execution and Lady Luck playing her bit part as well, could see the Lions complete an amazing triumph in Potchefstroom.
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