DURBAN - Despite a narrow defeat to the Highveld Lions on Sunday, the Dolphins returned to Durban bullish about their chances in the T20 Challenge.
“We still fear no side, and we know that we can never be counted out against anyone,” coach Grant Morgan said.
“That is not to say we accept defeats or celebrate mediocrity. The boys are disappointed, but it was a great game of cricket on Sunday."
The Dolphins were pipped to the post by a Wiaan Mulder smite to wide long on for four, when the Lions required three off the final ball of the match.
Having been 150/0, the men from Gauteng were expected to cruise, but the Dolphins reeled them in with serious pressure at the death.
“Sitting on the sidelines, I still believed that all we needed was a tight over, and we could still win it," Morgan said.
“When we spoke afterwards, Khaya (Zondo) said they felt the same in the middle. Robbie (Frylinck) got us back in the game, and it was just crazy that Mulder was able to just beat a diving Zondo in the ring, and then Keshav Maharaj on a big boundary for the four.”
The defeat was a first of the season for the Dolphins, and Morgan said he was buoyed by the character shown by some of the unsung heroes in his squad.
“It’s pleasing that we were able to get ourselves to 160-odd even though a (Sarel) Erwee or a Zondo or a (Dane) Vilas didn’t contribute this time. We are a team, and we play like that,” he said.
One thing that the Dolphins are helpless about is the seemingly eternal curse of the weather in Durban. The city itself is still licking considerable wounds from Friday, when 6 000 people turned up, only to be drenched.
“We were desperate for a game, just for those people. I mean, they stayed and stayed, and you really feel for them,” Morgan empathised.
The Dolphins’ attack has barely got out of the blocks in the T20 format, with reduced overs against the Cape Cobras, before Friday’s washout.
“We’ve practiced a hell of a lot, but it’s just not the same. Guys need to be out there, being put under pressure,” Morgan said.
On Wednesday the Dolphins host the Warriors who will be under the caretakership of former Dolphins’ opener Rivash Gobind.