DURBAN – A week is a long time in Durban. Just a week ago, the Dolphins were plotting the strong possibility of a home semi-final in the One-Day Cup, and looking ahead to completing the double over the Warriors last Friday.
Since then, things have been in free fall at Kingsmead. The Warriors rocked up last week, fired up and more up for the scrap than the Dolphins.
In one night, they suddenly had holes in their supposedly tough shell. By Sunday, as they met the best team in South Africa, those holes had become bigger, gushing away the initiative at will, as the early competition momentum slipped inexorably away in a weekend from hell.
“We didn’t go into those two games gung-ho, we still had a plan on how to go about those last two games, given our position on the table,” coach Grant Morgan explained of a week to forget.
“In the last few days, we have addressed certain issues. We need to put bigger partnerships together, and we are not firing all as one.”
Batting, which looked as if it would be a terrific strength for the Dolphins, has become a serious problem.
There is no match-breaking stand, an alliance that blunts the opposition’s enthusiasm. At the moment, the Dolphins routinely give hope to their foes, and that Achilles heel is threatening to undermine their ambitions in the entire tournament.
Heck, the way the Dolphins are batting at the moment, they might just undermine their entire season.
The Highveld Lions are in town, and they themselves are a team that has often grabbed defeat from the jaws of victory.
The Dolphins need to win today, and if they don’t do that, they are in serious danger of doing what they did last year, when they limped badly at the business end of the competition. It is a huge problem, an admitted failure to fully launch from within.