Ford disappointed in Dolphins’ batting, lauds Titans attack

2011-10-11 00:00

DOLPHINS coach Graham Ford expressed disappointment at his side’s batting performances in both innings of the SuperSport Series match against the Titans, which his side lost on Sunday, and said this will have to improve against the Knights this week.

Chasing a mediocre 172 to win the match on the last day, the Titans made easy work of the total, losing only three wickets in the process.

In the first innings, the Dolphins were bundled out for 243 on a day where the Titans took advantage of the playing conditions and some luck which came their way in the form of questionable umpiring decisions.

“That was not a 240 pitch and we should never have been bowled out for what we were. But all credit must go to an inspired Titans attack,” said Ford.

He added that credit must be given to Paul Harris, who took 5/37, and Morné Morkel, who took 3/56 in the first innings.

“You can see why Harris and Morkel have played so many games for the Proteas. The pitch was prepared to take spin, but not on the first day, and Harris punished us.”

Ford must have had a sense of déjà vu in the Dolphins’ second innings when Shaun von Berg bulldozed his way through the batting order in the late afternoon session of the third day. Von Berg emulated Harris’ first innings effort to take the second five wicket haul of the match, finishing with figures of 5/76.

Ford said that ground staff were instructed to prepare a turning wicket because he wanted to use Imran Tahir extensively in the match. But Cricket South Africa (CSA) had the last word when at the final hour they withdrew Tahir from the squad to nurse a niggling injury ahead of the Australian tour which begins this week.

After taking note of the damage that Harris and Von Berg caused, CSA have now reportedly said that Tahir must play in this week’s game at Kingsmead.

The loss to the Titans sees the Dolphins drop to third on the table, ahead of the Lions only by virtue of bonus points.

Although the Dolphins played well to draw with the Lions in Johannesburg in their first game, their preparation for the Titans match was not ideal.

At the time of Tahir’s withdrawal, CSA announced that it would be imposing a three month suspension on batsman Vaughn van Jaarsveld for a drug related charge which he was found guilty of last year, while new signing Friedel de Wet was given leeway to miss this match in order to plant seeds on his farm. Local batsman Glenn Addicott was called into the squad to replace Van Jaarsveld while Dane Paterson was called in to cover for De Wet.

Addicott looked out of his depth in both innings and could find himself missing out against the Knights. Paterson bowled some inspired spells and delivered the ball at good pace on a wicket that died down considerably on the third and fourth days. His efforts were rewarded by finishing with 3/77 in the first innings.

While the Dolphins will want to bounce back in this week’s match, they face a side which has been rampant in the first two games of the series. The Knights beat the Titans in Pretoria in their first match and were unlucky to draw their match against the Lions last week.


This week’s fixtures:

Dolphins v Knights - Kingsmead

Lions v Titans - Potchefstroom

Warriors v Cobras - East London

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