Dolphins now have only pride to play for

2013-03-04 00:00

IT’S been a week to forget for the Dolphins as they took to the road for three RAMSLAM T20 Challenge fixtures, losing each by nine wickets and only pride to play for in their remaining five matches in the competition.

It will be recorded in history as a black week and one which will quietly be shelved, hopefully never to be referred to again.

After losing to the Lions in their second match, the Dolphins were beaten by the Cobras, Knights — who were at the bottom of the table going into the match — and Warriors before returning to Durban with more than their tails between their legs.

Confidence is at an all-time low, the winning feeling so evident during and at the end of the four-day competition is but a distant memory and captain Daryn Smit is somewhat shell-shocked. Said Smit, “Putting it mildly, it’s been a tough week, a bad week. To be honest, I am disappointed in the team and how we have fared in the competition. After the high of the four-day series, it’s been a shocking turnaround and we have been outclassed in all games and all departments.”

The record books tell the story of a team that has been well below average, battling to find a successful gameplan and a formula within the team that works. Bringing young off-break bowler Prenelan Subrayen in at the fall of the first or second wicket against the Lions and Knights had fans scratching their heads and a clear message of uncertainty being shown in the camp.

“Prenelan is a solid hitter of the ball and we felt we would give him an opportunity to play responsibly and experience time in the middle. It never worked and on both occasions, it placed huge pressure on an already wobbling top order,” said Smit.

Speaking on the top order, Smit said, “None of our top three batsmen have really fired. All of them have gone cheaply in every match, with none of them stabilising the innings, holding it together. Looking at the scorecards from all our matches to date, we have been three wickets down early on for a low score and have never recovered despite the middle order trying to plug the holes on a leaking ship. There has been no platform to fire from.”

In all their four matches (the first against the Titans was abandoned without a ball bowled), the Dolphins have not reached 140, scoring at greatly less than seven runs an over. This has left opposing teams with little panic and they have been able to go about their business with relative ease and calm. Smit said the team “are tired of the talk now and owe it to our fans and followers to produce the goods”.

The Dolphins still have five matches in the competition, starting with the Knights at Kingsmead on Friday March 8.

“We have pride to play for and will try some different batting and bowling combinations to see how we go. We need to find that lost spark. It may be too late in the competition, but it will be worth finding.”

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