It’s a game of permutations for the Dolphins

2012-12-05 00:00

WHILE the Dolphins go all out for a win and four vital points in today’s Momentum One-day Cup clash against the Warriors at Buffalo Park in East London, they will have to keep looking over their shoulders to see if the Cobras can oblige with a hefty favour by beating the Titans at Boland Park.

This is the last round of matches before the play-offs, and with the top three teams qualifying, the fourth-placed Dolphins are living on hope and what-ifs.

As it stands, the high-flying Lions, with 28 points, have already qualified and the arm-wrestle is on for the vital third spot. The Cobras are second on 24 points and a win against the Titans today will see them qualify.

Third spot is a yo-yo affair, currently occupied by the Titans on 21 points. If they lose to the Cobras and the Dolphins pick up a win in East London, they should move into third on 22 points.

However, if the Knights (18 points) beat the Lions today with a healthy run rate to boost, they could edge the Dolphins out of third and thus deny them a play-off berth.

If it all works out for the Dolphins, it will be a credit to the side and coach Lance Klusener, considering their progress in the season to date. The two four-day Sunfoil Series matches were destroyed by rain, and the three home games in the One-day Cup were also rained off with the points shared between the sides. Add to that the way the Dolphins lost the home clash in Pietermaritzburg against the Cobras when tailenders Dane Piedt and Charl Langeveldt shared a ninth-wicket stand of 52 to get the Capetonians over the line, and it’s clear that vital moments have also cost the Dolphins dearly, leading to their current predicament.

A top-order collapse against the swinging ball at Newlands last Friday saw another loss to the Cobras, despite a defiant and brilliant 116 from Vaughn van Jaarsveld. In the context of the game, it was a measured knock, but it never brought home the bacon and the Dolphins find themselves having to execute a miraculous escape act today while relying on their nemesis side to open the back door to them.

Let’s hope the Dolphins and Cobras win. After all, it’s the season of giving and a welcome gift from the Cape would be sweeter than the richest Christmas pudding.

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