Dolphins eager to end series with spring in their step

2014-03-26 00:00

IT’S been a long season for the Dolphins but they are in the home stretch and have to get themselves up for the two remaining Sunfoil Four Day Series clashes, against the Lions starting at Kingsmead tomorrow and then the Knights in Bloem­fontein next week.

While the Dolphins cannot win the four-day series and are therefore out of contention for the R1 million on offer for the champions, they should still approach their last two games with a spring in their step.

“Yes, it’s been a long haul and we are getting tired of each other, but there is still work to be done and if we play our cards right, we could still finish second in the competition,” said Dolphins coach Lance Klusener. “That is an improvement on our third last season and is a goal we set ourselves at the outset, to work harder and be rewarded with better positions on the log this time around.”

Coming to the end of his two-year contract, Klusener has not been informed whether he will be retained for next season and beyond, but is happy with what has been achieved in his second season as coach. “Obviously, our target this season was to win a trophy and we achieved that. Through that, we have earned respect as a franchise and shown we can compete with the other franchises as opposed to just making up the numbers,” said Klusener.

Reflecting on the Dolphins’ four-day campaign, Klusener rued the many opportunities denied by the weather, which saw a couple of matches abandoned without a ball being bowled. “In hindsight, we could be in a much stronger position than where we are, occupying third on the table,” he said. “Rain was a huge factor again this season and while teams in other parts of the country get their games in, we battle. That already sets us back and in the four-day format, once you play catch up, you are never in the frame for title honours.”

However, this stage of the season does allow the coach to blood some new players to serious first-class cricket and the Dolphins franchise can take heart with what is waiting in the wings. “We have started bringing some youngsters through and they have started in great fashion with bat and ball. It’s all part of the process going forward and the experience is invaluable for next season when they will have no fear stepping up to the mark. It’s a healthy state of affairs to have such talent in the wings, home-grown talent we can nurture and develop.”

Building a great team culture has been another of Klusener’s targets and he believes he has achieved that. “Bagging a trophy this season has bred a winning culture in the team, something that has been missing for many a season. Now we need to take that culture into every game, every competition where we work for each other and the team,” he said. “It takes time to get there, but we are on the right track.”

Looking to tomorrow’s game, Klusener said it was up to the Dolphins to play better, be sharp and stay ahead in the game. “These are exciting times for new players and it gives me as coach the opportunity to see what we have in the tank.” Play starts at 9 am tomorrow and entry is free.


Imraan Khan, Divan Van Wyk, Khaya Zondo, Cody Chetty, Sarel Erwee, Morne Van Wyk (capt), Daryn Smit, Kyle Abbott, Keshav Maharaj, Craig Alexander, Matthew Pillans, Daryn Dupavillon, and Tabraiz Shamsi. (Vaughn van Jaarsveld is out with a back ligament injury and Robbie Frylinck is also injured).

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