Klusener: ‘We earned respect’

2012-10-02 00:00

DOLPHINS coach Lance Klusener and captain Daryn Smit have seen the positives in the side’s 53-run defeat to the Lions in their opening Sunfoil Series four-day clash at the Wanderers.

Said Klusener: “We competed and were in a position to win the match.

“That in itself is new ground for the team when looking back at recent seasons.

“Taking 20 wickets in the match was massive, showing we had the right mix of bowlers and, while the guys are disappointed, they have earned respect early in the season and can only grow in confidence.”

As Smit said, the match was a see-saw affair, in the balance to the final ball.

Like two boxers throwing punches, each side wobbled then recovered, the killer blow unfortunately landing on the Dolphins’ jaw when pace man Chris Morris swept through the batting with career-best figures of 8/44 (12/101 in the match) in the Dolphins’ second knock.

“He bowled properly and straight. Cracks in the pitch widened and he was finding those spots, causing the ball to misbehave. He hit the deck hard and made the most of the conditions as the sun shone for all four days, baking the pitch.

“Credit to him though for never giving up and believing he could pull off the win for the Lions,” said Smit.

It took just one bad session to seal the Dolphins’ fate, but it’s early days in the season with much cricket to be played.

This week, the Dolphins head to Buffalo Park in East London to meet the Warriors, a team riding high after a convincing 161-run win against the Titans in Port Elizabeth at the weekend. Traditionally a low, slow track, the key will be patience with bat and ball.

“We have shown we are prepared to trade punches and head into the match with the same attitude. As long as we continue to compete, we are on the right track and will be rewarded,” said Klusener.

The Dolphins are expected to announce their squad for the Warriors clash in the next few days.

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