Last chance for Dolphins to reach One-day Cup play-offs

2012-12-04 00:00

FRIDAY night’s two-run win against the Titans at SuperSport Park has given Daryn Smit’s Dolphins a faint chance of reaching the play-offs in the One-day Cup competition.

But they need a win against bottom- of-the-table Warriors in East London tomorrow and hope the Cobras beat the Titans, at Boland Park also tomorrow, to allow for a third-place finish, and thus qualify.

While the weather has been massive in ensuring the Dolphins have to fight for every inch of advantage when they have managed to get on the park, Smit is quietly confident his men can upset the odds and dig deep for a late charge up the home stretch.

Said Smit before heading to East London: “No questions asked. It’s clearly a must-win situation, but it’s nerve-wracking having to rely on another side to also have a say in how things pan out.

“We cannot change that though and have to concentrate on our end of the deal and ensure we achieve our goal of securing a win.”

Beating the Titans in Pretoria was the confidence boost the Dolphins needed, and although Smit acknowledges his team allowed matters to get a little too close of comfort, a win is a win and it was getting the four points that counted.

“We pulled together as a team and focused on getting the win.

“We recovered from another poor start with the bat and it’s pleasing to see players standing tall and taking responsibility when the chips are down. Scoring 260 in 47 overs was outstanding and the important aspect is the team remembering how to win.

“They want to win and that is coming through in the approach and mindset of the players,” he said.

Although the Warriors are languishing at the wrong end of the table with no hope of reaching the play-offs, Smit knows the dangers of laughing off a wounded animal.

“They have match winners in their side and will be pumped up to end the campaign with a win, especially on home soil,” said the captain.

“No game is easy in this competition and cricket is a game where nothing can be taken for granted.

“We cannot afford to let our guard down and being a must win match, have to cover all our bases.”

While still having to assess the conditions in East London, Smit’s game plan is to win the toss and bat first.

Said Smit: “Batting at night is always tricky, wherever you may be, as the ball moves around in the early stages, making scoring difficult and calling on the top order batsmen to play within themselves.

“I expect the same in East London and am hoping to get first strike, post in the region of 280 plus and apply pressure from the beginning.

“If they have to score at a run a ball from the beginning, any tight overs are going to see the run rate climbing.

“And the lights at Buffalo Park are not the greatest, so first dig, in my opinion, is vitally important and could decide the match.”

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