‘Aim is to win, not defend’

2014-10-29 00:00

CRICKET season is well under way — just look at Durban’s weather — and the Dolphins have given a good account of themselves to date.

They haven’t played any four-day cricket due to travelling to India for the Champions League T20 and in the One-Day Cup competition they are second on the log having delivered some solid showings.

They returned from India winless, yet richer for the experience, something that has been evident in their approach and performances in the one-day 50-over arena.

Coach Lance Klusener has a squad of experience and exuberant youth to choose from and to date, he has mixed those two ingredients well, giving some raw youngsters — Sibs Makhanya and Andile Phehlukwayo — an opportunity to play tough cricket, while sticking with his mature players such as captain Morné van Wyk, Daryn Smit and Vaughn van Jaarsveld.

As November beckons, it’s time for the lads to change gear and return to the 20-over format as the Ram Slam competition roars out the starting blocks.

Having already played this format in India where the Cobras were also in action, the Dolphins will feel they could have a slight advantage in the early stages of their quest to retain the trophy they won last year.

Van Wyk has already stated that while his team may have gleaned much in India, they are starting from a clean slate, every match and opponent to be respected and his men will be wanting to win the trophy again as opposed to defending the title.

With West Indies ODI skipper Dwayne Bravo the overseas signing for the Dolphins, there is a feeling of quiet confidence ahead of the competition hitting off at the Wanderers on Sunday, where the Lions lie in wait.

But let’s recap on the one-day competition and how the Dolphins have fared.

They have played six, won three, lost one and had two matches abandoned due to rain.

This sees them on 16 points, second on the log behind the Cobras (21pts) and one ahead of the Lions (15pts).

The competition takes a breather until late January, by which time much of what the Dolphins have done to date would have been forgotten. Here’s a match-by-match peek at what’s gone down.

Dolphins v Titans (Centurion)

Having given away 340 runs bowling first, to many observers it looked as though the Dolphins would be outclassed, going behind in the competition at the first hurdle and having to play catch up as they progressed.

Theunis de Bruyn (108) and Farhaan Berhardien (105*) savaged the bowling and the task was made a touch harder when a slight rain delay saw the Dolphins asked to chase 301 in 42 overs at well over seven to the over.

Enter Van Wyk, who showed his maturity and leadership in carrying his bat for 121* from 112 balls to see the Dolphins take the points in a five-wicket win with five balls to spare. Van Jaarsveld added a valuable 62.

Titans 340-6

Dolphins 301-5 (D/L)

Dolphins won by 5wkts.

Points 4

Dolphins v Lions (Kingsmead)

Rain ruined this one with the sides having to share the points. Again, the Dolphins attack was plundered, this time to the tune of 233 in 45 overs, Neil McKenzie (101*) and Jean Symes (97*) involved in a massive 188* third-wicket partnership.

As the Lions innings finished — which was already reduced by five overs due to the weather — the rain returned and the Dolphins could only face one over, enough for Cameron Delport to pop a catch to point.

At one stage it looked as though the Dolphins would be asked to change gear into T20 mode as a target of 158 was set in a further 19 overs, but no further play was forthcoming.

Lions 233-3

Dolphins 1-1

Match Abandoned

Points 2

Total 6pts

Dolphins v Knights (Bloemfontein)

A match for the record books that saw Van Wyk (175*) and Delport (169*) amass 367* for the 1st wicket, setting a new world record partnership for a 50-over match.

They surpassed the previous record of 331 set by India’s Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid in 1999.

Despite the facts, stats and achievement, the moment wasn’t given the credit it should have been, quietly dispelled to the record books for future reference.

The Knights made a feast of things with Reeza Hendricks (181) and Rudi Second (107) adding 275 for the second wicket. Robbie Frylinck put the skids on the effort with some quick wickets at the end to see the Knights fall 25 runs short on 342-7.

A match that saw 709 runs scored for the loss of seven wickets.

Dolphins 367*

Knights 342-7

Dolphins won by 25 runs

Points 4

Total 10pts

Dolphins v Warriors (PMB)

Bowling again proved the Achilles heel as the Dolphins let this one slip by four wickets.

A tricky pitch saw the Dolphins do well to reach 274-8, Van Jaarsveld (118), Cody Chetty (50) and a late blast from Frylinck (42*) giving the bowlers a target to defend.

Having flattened out, the pitch allowed the Warriors to keep in the hunt without too much anxiety. Michael Price (70) and JJ Smuts (94) opened with 127 and solid contributions from the rest saw them home.

A flurry of late wickets gave the Dolphins some hope, but poor death bowling saw the Warriors triumphant with three balls to spare.

Dolphins 274-8

Warriors 275-6

Warriors won by 4wkts

Points 0

Total 10pts

Dolphins v Lions (Potchefstroom)

This time the bowlers came good, restricting the hosts to 214, Frylinck leading the way with four scalps.

It wasn’t easy for the batsmen as wickets fell regularly, keeping the Lions in the hunt. It was left to Khaya Zondo (70*) to see the Dolphins home for a three-wicket win with 17 balls remaining.

Taking the points in this match could prove vital later in the competition.

Lions 214

Dolphins 219-7

Dolphins won by 3wkts

Points 4

Total 14pts

Dolphins v Cobras (Kingsmead)

Rain washed this one out without a ball bowled and the points were shared. It was a pity no play was possible as this was a top-of-the-table clash that could have been spicy.

Match Abandoned

Points 2

Total 16pts

Leading Dolphins Runscorer

Morné van Wyk - Matches 5, Runs 353, HS 175*, Avg 176,50, SR 95,4, 100x2. Currently the leading run scorer in the competition.

Leading Dolphins Bowler

Robbie Frylinck - Matches 5, Wkts 11, Avg 23,54, SR 26,1, Econ 5,39, Best 4-30.

Currently the most wickets along with Marchant de Lange (Titans) and Robin Peterson (Cobras).

One Day Cup Log

P W L NR Pts NRR

Cobras 6 4 1 1 21 0.902

Dolphins 6 3 1 2 16 0.254

Lions 6 3 2 1 15 0.21

Titans 5 2 2 1 9 0.203

Knights 6 1 4 1 8 -0.804

Warriors 5 1 4 0 4 -0.606

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