Dolphins look to end positively

2013-03-26 00:00

THE Dolphins play their final home match of the season today when they host the Warriors in a Ram Slam T20 Challenge clash.

There’s nothing in it for the Dolphins, who are fifth on the log with 10 points, way off the pace for any hope of qualifying for a play-off. But they can ruin the outing for the Eastern Cape lads, who are riding high on morale after a narrow four-run win over the log-topping Lions on Friday.

It’s a time of reflection for the Dolphins, who have shown glimpses of potential in the competition, but it’s been too little too late after a disastrous start to their domestic T20 campaign.

Said Dolphins captain Daryn Smit: “No wins after five matches, including our dark week on the road when we lost three away matches by nine wickets, saw us playing off the back foot from which there was no chance of being a threat.

“Unfortunately, all we can do is finish well and end the season positively by winning this game and our final clash on Thursday against the Lions at the Wanderers.

“We have shown we can win, but it’s been too late in the day to cause any alarm for the other teams.”

Poor totals — the team battled to reach beyond 140 runs in those early matches — put untold pressure on the bowlers, leaving no room for error and little to defend given the nature of T20 cricket.

“When you have batsmen coming at you from ball one, totals of between 120 and 140 are never going to be easy to defend. When our batting did lay a solid platform, we inevitably won. It’s a solid formula of the batsmen having to get a decent total to allow the bowlers to dictate,” said Smit.

It’s been a frustrating campaign for Smit as he reflected on what could have been. “A classic example was our match on Friday against the Titans. For 80% of the match, we played well and were in charge. That 20 % of poor cricket at the back end of the Titans innings was enough to cost us the game by four wickets.

“There have been positives throughout the season but it’s no good when we do not make use of them from the outset. Reflection after every game is too late and does not secure the points,” the skipper added.

However, Smit believes the current team has the right formula and is something to build on next season.

“We did change gear after our poor start and I believe we have found the right combinations in our batting and bowling. Players know where they fit in, what their responsibilities are and what they need to do. This is what we need to carry forward into next season and start attacking, off the front foot, from the word go,” he said.

For the Warriors, there is every possibility of qualifying for the business end of the competition.

Beating the Dolphins will guarantee third spot on the log, ahead of the final clash against the lowly Cobras in Cape Town on Thursday.

Gates open at 4 pm at Kingsmead today and the match starts at 6 pm.

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