Plenty on the line against Cobras

2013-11-08 00:00

AFTER missing out last year when the Warriors put paid to the Dolphins making the play-off in the Momentum One Day Cup competition, coach Lance Klusener does not want a repeat this time around.

It’s all to play for in today’s vital clash against the table-topping Cobras at Kingsmead as the Dolphins push for the points that will see them break away from the Titans, who have come with a late surge to be outside contenders for the play-off stage.

If the Cobras secure top spot, they automatically qualify for a home final, with second and third place meeting each other in a play-off to determine the other finalists.

Reflecting on what could have been, the Dolphins may yet rue their missed opportunities against the Knights and Warriors last week, where match-winning partnerships for the ninth and eighth wicket saw the opposition across the line in matches the Dolphins appeared to have wrapped up.

Those eight points that have been lost could have seen the Dolphins out of sight as comfortable log leaders and going into today’s meeting without needless pressure on their shoulders.

Nonetheless, a job has to be done and a win is what players and fans want to see.

Speaking earlier in the week, Klusener said, “To see us denied a win twice in the week by lower-order batsman taking the game to us is a point of concern. I thought against the Warriors in Pietermaritzburg we were 15 to 20 runs short, but it’s history now and what those two losses have done is definitely kept the competition interesting.

“Today’s match is massive for us and we must finish the business when we find ourselves in a strong position. There are no second chances now and we have to deliver the knockout blow when it counts.”

English Test player Graham Onions, contracted to the Dolphins for the season in all formats of the game, has bowled steadily and Klusener is hoping the Kingsmead wicket will suit his pace. “It hasn’t been easy for him to bowl and he has found it tough, particularly in the extreme heat we have had,” said the coach. “He knows how and when to perform and he could be an important factor today.”

One player enjoying a season beyond his expectations is last season’s captain, Daryn Smit. He has been consistent with the bat down the order for the Dolphins — 230 runs at 76,66 — and his leg spinners have been economical, tying up an end and getting important wickets.

“It’s going better than anticipated so far this season and it’s about contributing in all departments, including fielding. The ultimate would be to bring a trophy back to Durban and we need to maintain our momentum.

“Today’s match is vital and if we progress to the play-off and then the final, we will meet the Cobras again so it’s important to gain the upper hand and take control of the game against them.”

Smit also lamented the missed opportunities against the Knights and Warriors, saying the Dolphins had identified where they went wrong against the Bloem­fontein team, only to see a repeat against the Warriors.

“We don’t want those scenarios coming back to haunt us. There’s plenty on the line for us and we must deliver, no excuses,” he said.

Today’s match starts at 3 pm.

Dolphins Squad: Imraan Khan, Divan van Wyk, Morné van Wyk (capt), Cameron Delport, Keshav Maharaj, Cody Chetty, Vaughn van Jaarsveld, Khaya Zondo, Robbie Frylinck, Craig Alexander, Daryn Smit, Graham Onions and Kyle Abbott.

P W L NR Pts NRR

Cobras 9 6 1 2 28 0,241

Warriors 9 4 2 3 24 0,498

Dolphins 9 4 2 3 23 0,229

Titans 9 4 4 1 19 0,362

Knights 9 2 6 1 10 -0,603

Lions 9 1 6 2 8 -0,647

One Day Cup log

Competition Scenario

In the event of teams finishing on equal points, the right to play in the final match will be determined as follows:

• The team with the most number of wins

• If still equal, the team with the most number of wins over the other team(s) who are equal on points and have the same number of wins

• If still equal, the team with the highest number of bonus points

• If still equal, the team with the highest net run rate

In a match declared as no result, run rate is not applicable.

Cobras — Will finish first unless they lose to Dolphins and Warriors win against Titans with a bonus point. Then Cobras will finish second.

Warriors — Will qualify if they get any points against Titans.

Will finish second if they beat Titans unless Dolphins win with a bonus point which will see them go second on net run rate.

Can finish first if they beat Titans with a bonus point and Cobras lose.

Won’t qualify if they lose to Titans with a bonus point and Dolphins get any points against Cobras

Dolphins – Will qualify for play-offs unless they lose to Cobras and Titans beat Warriors.

Can finish second if they beat Cobras and Warriors lose to Titans or if Dolphins get any points and Warriors lose.

Dolphins cannot finish top of the log.

Titans — Need to win to qualify for play-offs.

If they win without a bonus point, they need Dolphins to lose so they (Titans) can finish third.

If they win with a bonus point, they will qualify. In this instance, if the Dolphins get any points, the Titans will go third, otherwise they will go second.

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