Dolphins aim for nothing but a win

2014-01-22 00:00

WHILE the selectors have kept faith with the same Dolphins squad that went down to the Cobras at Kingsmead last Sunday by 25 runs, the team know that nothing but a win will suffice in today’s Ram Slam T20 bash against the Lions at the same venue.

The Dolphins are currently fourth on the log with 11 points from four games and have some games in hand to move up into the top three, which at least offers a play-off for a possible final berth at the business end of proceedings.

After Sunday’s win, the Cobras head the race with 21 points from six games, followed by the Warriors on 14 from six, the Titans 12 from five, the Dolphins, the Knights eight from six and the winless Lions three from five. This is the ideal opportunity for the Dolphins to return to winning ways after a tie in Port Elizabeth on Friday against the Warriors and Sunday’s stumble.

Dale Benkenstein, the Dolphins batting consultant and the last Dolphins captain to hold a domestic trophy aloft, knows the importance of taking the four points on offer.

“Winning games in this format is paramount. Coming second doesn’t count,” he said. “It’s a matter of dealing with the pressure situations and mentally getting across the line.”

One of the key areas for the Dolphins will be getting a solid start without losing a flurry of wickets in the mandatory six-over powerplay at the beginning of the innings. On Sunday, they ended their six overs wobbling on 24-4 and never recovered.

“Having wickets in hand is key and the ideal situation is for one of the top order batsmen to get in and create the platform with a score beyond fifty,” said Benkenstein. “We are doing plenty of good things but the key is to win games and do the basics.”

The Dolphins may feel they need some luck to come their way this time around, something that deserted them against the Cobras.

“We lost wickets early, but batsmen were going out to balls that are their strengths,” said Benkenstein. “Morné van Wyk is great against the short ball and the first one he got, he hit down mid-wicket’s throat; Cameron Delport likes the ball pitched up so he can drive and he happened to smack it straight to mid-off.

“If either of those shots had come off, the situation would have been vastly different, with the opposition bowlers feeling the heat instead of us being two down with next to nothing on the board. It’s a fine line.”

All is not lost for the Dolphins though and, as Benkenstein reminded supporters, the team has only lost once to date in the competition.

“We dropped a point in the tie against the Warriors, but it was not a loss,” he said.

“Of course the guys are hurting and it’s a case of being fearless and jumping back up to meet the next challenge. One loss does not necessarily mean we are in a slump.”

Today’s match starts at 6 pm, with gates opening at 5 pm. Tickets are from R60 (adults) and R30 (children and pensioners).

The game will be televised on SuperSport Two and SuperSport HD2.

In other matches, the Cobras take on the Titans at Newlands and the Knights host the Warriors in Kimberley.

Dolphins Squad

Prenelan Subrayen, Kyle Nipper, Morne van Wyk (capt), Craig Alexander, Keshav Maharaj, Kyle Abbott, Daryn Smit, Cameron Delport, Robbie Frylinck, Khaya Zondo, David Miller, Cody Chetty and Vaughn van Jaarsveld.

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