Lance says Dolphins can’t rely on past performances

2014-02-05 00:00

DOLPHINS coach Lance Klusener is giving nothing away ahead of tonight’s vital Ram Slam T20 play-off against the Titans at Kingsmead.

The winners will be off to Cape Town to meet the Cobras in the final on Friday and be guaranteed a spot in the Champions League later this year.

“It’s another game for us, a new game. We have a young team ready to win and if all 11 players put their unique skills on the table, we will be tough to beat,” Klusener said.

Klusener added that history between the two sides, plus knowing that the Dolphins had beaten the Titans in both meetings this season, counted for nothing and his players could not rely on past performances.

Captain Morne van Wyk said he was proud of the team that was only two games away from claiming the trophy.

“When we have played as a team in the competition, we have been hard to beat,” he said. “The players have produced their maximum performances when it has counted and that’s why we find ourselves where we are.

“The team has taken great steps in the right direction and I want the players to be excited about tonight. They must know what’s at stake and want to win.”

Titans coach Rob Walters was under no illusions that his charges were up against the best team in the competition. “The Dolphins may have finished second, but they can count on the same unit operating every match,” he said.

“They will not lose any players to international duty, whereas I believe the Cobras will suffer in this department come the final on Friday.”

Walters’s biggest loss is Morne Morkel, who has had to leave the camp to focus on preparing for the Tests against the Australians. “He has bowled magnificently in the competition, the best I have seen him bowl in T20 cricket. It’s a massive loss not having him, but we have Saeed Ajmal, who can produce the goods on virtually any pitch.”

Although the Titans have a far better record of big match temperament, winning matches when it counts, skipper Henry Davids knows his men will have to fight for every run and wicket.

“We have been in these situations before and pulled through. That gives us some confidence and calmness,” he said.

As for the pitch, no one had taken a good look at it, but Van Wyk was sure it would be similar to what is has been in the past few weeks. “I expect it to be a pitch we are used to. As Lance said, if we play good cricket, we can use it to our advantage.”

The Titans have brought bowlers C.J. de Villiers and Marchant de Lange into their squad, while the Dolphins have the luxury of no injuries and a consistent group of players.

Tonight’s match starts at 6 pm and is telecast on SuperSport 2 and SuperSport 2HD. Gates open at 5 pm.

Dolphins squad

Prenelan Subrayen, Kyle Nipper, Morne van Wyk (captain), Mthokozisi Shezi, Craig Alexander, Keshav Maharaj, Kyle Abbott, Daryn Smit, Cameron Delport, Robbie Frylinck, Khaya Zondo, David Miller, Cody Chetty and Vaughn van Jaarsveld.

Dolphins v Titans

Played — 14

Dolphins — three wins

Titans — eight wins

No result — three.

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