Dolphins not looking too far ahead as semi-final fever hits

2011-02-25 00:00

THE Dolphins, despite being just two games away from the big time, are sticking to their game plan of staying in the moment as they head into tonight’s first leg of the Pro20 Series against the Warriors in Port Elizabeth.

Coach Graham Ford, speaking to The Witness last night from the team’s hotel, said the mood in the camp is one of quiet confidence.

“You know, I am proud of everything the guys have achieved this season, but the best part has been the fact that their feet have stayed on the ground,” the Dolphins mentor said.

He said the transformation from last season’s whipping boys to this campaign’s surprise package was down to a lot of hard work — and some risks that have come off.

“You know, in this format, if you try something and it comes off, you are a hero. And if it doesn’t, you look like a bit of an idiot,” he chuckled.

The Dolphins can certainly be accused of trying a few things this season, and the fact that they ended the round-robin top of the pile would suggest that the risks paid off.

“That last game against the Lions was another great effort by the boys,” Ford reflected.

“It’s funny how people always think that when the rate is down to a run a ball, it should be a doddle,” he said.

“In my experiences in England, I have learnt that a game can change very quickly. And that is exactly what happened to us against the Lions.”

Daryn Smit may have closed the game off on Sunday, but the Dolphins have had a number of key performances from different players this term.

“I think that is the nature of Twenty20 cricket,” Ford offered.

“Things change so quickly that you have to have different heroes now and then.”

That is not to say that he would mind very much if one of his powerful top four went on a hot streak of form at this crucial stage.

The likes of David Miller, Loots Bosman and Vaughn van Jaarsveld have all made runs in patches, and there is no better time for them to find their potent best than now.

“Look, it would be absolutely fantastic if somebody found a really hot patch over the next few games. That could be the clincher, and it works the same way for the opposition too,” Ford warned. “One of their big guns could come in and just take the game away from us.”

Ford said the best thing that his side had done this season is stay in the moment.

“Whatever happens over the next few games, I know the guys will not get ahead of themselves. Our motto this season has been to take it one ball at a time.”

Clearly, it has been working.

And tonight, against a Warriors outfit that is considered weakened — despite having the likes of Mark Boucher, Davey Jacobs, Ashwell Prince and Rusty Theron — the Dolphins will again be banking on that simple theory.

Dolphins squad:

Imraan Khan (C), David Miller, Devon Conway, Vaughn van Jaarsveld, Ahmed Amla, Loots Bosman, Daryn Smit, Kyle Abbott, Jon Kent, Keshav Maharaj, Yasir Arafat, Mthokozisi Shezi and Chad Fortune.

TV times: SuperSport 2 from 5.45 pm tonight.

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