Dolphins could throw cat among the pigeons

2013-03-28 00:00

WHILE the Dolphins are out of the running as far as the Ram Slam T20 Challenge goes, they could have a vital say in who finishes top of the table going into tonight’s clash against the Highveld Lions at the Wanderers.

The Lions have lost their last two matches — to the Titans and Warriors — and with it their spot in pole position on the log.

Having set the pace for most of the competition, they were relegated to second when the Titans beat the Knights by eight wickets in Bloemfontein on Tuesday to suddenly change the order.

Whoever finishes top is guaranteed a spot in the final at their home ground without having to negotiate a play-off, and there’s the huge boost of an automatic place in the Champions League.

If the Lions beat the Dolphins, they go top and the final will be at the Wanderers, but a Dolphins win will see the final move to Pretoria.

Dolphins coach Lance Klusener, ever the competitor, is relishing the punch his side has in determining the outcome.

“While we cannot be a threat as such to any team in the competition, we will still go hard at the Lions and to have a possible influence on the final log positions and who plays where is what we need to spur us on,” the coach said.

He said a poor start to the season with no wins after five games had the Dolphins on the back foot and there were no excuses.

“We are in this position [fifth on the log] because we let ourselves down this season.

“This is our final game and we want to go out with a win.

“It will throw the cat among the pigeons for some teams, but we don’t want anything less than the four points to add respect to our final points tally,” said Klusener.

Lions coach Geoffrey Toyana said two successive defeats had put some pressure on the team.

Said Toyana: “It’s just another game but there is some pressure.

“We know what is required and we control our destiny.

“Losing a 10-point lead at the top of the log indicates the nature of the competition. A few slip-ups and the whole scenario changes.”

Toyana added the Dolphins would not be easy pickings.

“With a fighter like Lance as coach, they will not roll over easily.

“They will give 100% and they came close to beating us when we met in Durban earlier in the campaign,” he said.

Dolphins squad: Divan van Wyk, Cameron Delport, Ravi Bopara, Vaughn van Jaarsveld, David Miller, Daryn Smit (captain), Cody Chetty, Kyle Abbott, Keshav Maharaj, Mthokozisi Shezi, Yusuf Abdulla, Khaya Zondo and Calvin Savage. Match: 6 pm.

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