Next two games crucial for Dolphins’ T20 playoffs hopes

2012-03-09 00:00

A SLIGHT dip in form and ghastly luck with the weather mean that the Dolphins’ hopes of reaching the MiWay T20 Challenge playoffs could well rest on the outcome of their two games at the weekend.

A loss to the Warriors and two consecutive rained-out matches in their last three fixtures means that the Dolphins start the weekend in fifth place on the log, eight points behind the log-leading Highveld Lions and three points behind the second-placed Titans.

The rained-off game against the Impi on Wednesday was particularly galling for the Dolphins as the Impi have been the competition’s whipping boys and have yet to register a win from eight matches.

Dolphins coach Lance Klusener was philosophical about the rained-out games.

“It is a bit of an issue especially when one of those games was against the seventh side. But we get a few points from those games, so although it’s not the end of the world it does make our lives a bit more difficult,” Klusener told The Witness.

The Dolphins play the Titans in Centurion tonight and the Warriors in East London on Sunday and both teams will be significantly strengthened thanks to returning international players.

The Titans will be able to call upon the services of Albie Morkel and Faf du Plessis, while the Warriors welcome back Wayne Parnell and Johan Botha.

Klusener said that his team would rather focus on their own performance rather than concerning themselves with the oppositions’ line-ups.

“It’s about doing what we want to do right. It’s no good worrying about what they have got …” he said.

The set-up of the T20 Challenge means that only the top three teams advance to the playoffs with the team finishing top of the table moving straight into the final while the second will play third for the right to play in the final.

Despite languishing in fifth place on the log, the Dolphins will find themselves right back in playoff contention if they can pull off two wins over the weekend, something that Klusener is well aware of.

“That’s a measure of how tight this competition is but it is a bit of a make or break weekend for us. Two wins and we are right in the thick of the action but two losses and we make life hard for ourselves,” he said.

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