DURBAN - The Dolphins head to Port Elizabeth this week and they are determined to finally break their Sunfoil Series victory duck after six draws on the trot.
“Six draws is not as frustrating in the context of where the competition is going. A couple of these draws were hard-fought,” coach Grant Morgan said.
The Dolphins are fresh off a strong fightback against the Knights, but Morgan wants to see his side start matches better, rather than always clawing their way back into the contest.
“We are spending a lot of time on the back foot, fighting our way back into games. We can’t keep on having these rear-guard situations because we are losing out on first innings points in batting and in bowling,” he said.
“We are getting to the stage now where we need a win, but if we don’t get that, we need to stay in touch with our batting and bowling points.”
The problem for the Durban franchise this season has been their inability to combine the key disciplines in the same fixture. Their bowling in Bloemfontein allowed the opposition to run away in the first innings, while the batting eventually came good in the follow-on.
“In all competitions, we haven’t been able to put together our batting and bowling at the same time. We have only shown hints of our ‘A game’,” Morgan lamented.
“Our fielding was excellent in the One-Day Cup, and our bowling and batting has got us through at times. But we owe it to ourselves to put together our ‘A game’ in at least three of our last four games this season.
“The big thing for me is that we lose small portions of the game badly,” he added.
A few good men
Those small portions have left the Dolphins with mountains to climb, and survival has then taken priority over success. In the midst of that, however, they have found a few good men who thrive in that environment.
At the top of the order, Sarel Erwee has already notched three Sunfoil Series centuries, while Senuran Muthusamy’s steady hand in the middle order has seen them through some sticky situations.
The batting all-rounder has been rewarded for his responsibility this season with a call-up to the South African A side for the upcoming visit of Australia A.
Looking ahead to Port Elizabeth, Morgan said he expected a result.
“The Warriors are coming off a 29-run victory over the Highveld Lions, in a match that barely lasted two and a half days in East London.
“PE is a results wicket. It is a bit harder to pierce gaps there because the pitch can be a bit slower. It will be interesting to see what they give us to play on because they have to be sure that their batters can outgun ours,” he warned.
The Dolphins and the Warriors enjoy a respectable rivalry, and Morgan said he was looking forward to this latest instalment.
“We play the Warriors twice in the next four matches, and things like sharing the one-day trophy, them being party poopers to us once or twice, it all comes into play.
“There is a nice edge on the game,” he explained.
“Their coach Rivash (Gobind) is a lovely guy, and he used to be with the Dolphins. I used to be Warriors assistant coach so there is a lot to play for,” Morgan ended.