DURBAN – In the unforgiving glare of Monday morning, the Dolphins looked back on a miserable Saturday night in Pretoria with more than a tinge of regret - and a fair old slice of embarrassment. The RamSlam T20 Challenge final breezed past them before they could even blink, as they were blown away by the Titans.
“It was embarrassing, because we didn’t rock up in that final,” the forthright Robbie Frylinck flat-batted.
“I think we played their team sheet rather than play them, because they are still human at the end of the day. That is the most disappointing aspect,” he gruffed.
Frylinck, often the Dolphins’ enforcer in tight situations, put his hand up and said that he and the experienced core within the squad simply didn’t put in the level of performance required to pull off something special against the best team in the country.
“Finals are occasions for your big players, your internationals and your experienced players to stand up and deliver a performance. “Unfortunately, none of us managed to do that.”
Upfront, the Dolphins simply tried to go too hard, and the match was gone as a contest even before the PowerPlay was done with.
The likes of Morne van Wyk, Vaughn van Jaarsveld and Sarel Erwee all went out to ambitious shots, as they tried to mount a total that could challenge the Titans.
It was a similar script to the manner in which the Warriors had been defeated in the semi-final, as the visiting team looked to go beyond themselves, trying to play too much cricket, too soon. Once the momentum was going the wrong way for the Durbanites, it was impossible to stop the Titans’ juggernaut.
“There was no change in game-plan,” top-order man Erwee said of the kamikaze approach with bat in hand. “We probably went too hard early on, and I don’t know if the final maybe got to us,” he admitted.
Pressure does strange things to good players, and the Dolphins were a pale shadow of the team we have seen - when they have taken to the field this season.
“If we had scored the 180 that we wanted, and still go beaten by good cricket, then I would have said fair enough,” Frylinck continued.
“But, we lost that match ourselves, because we were trying to score that too soon. You can’t look at the bigger picture, and forget about the building blocks. I still think that we were the only team in the competition that could beat them at full-strength,” Frylinck maintained.
“When we have played this season we lost two matches by a very narrow margin, and we should have won both. We definitely had the ability, but we just didn’t turn up at all. It was embarrassing,” he reiterated.
The Dolphins can’t dwell for too long, either, as the next competition rolls into town on Thursday, when they host the Cobras in the Momentum One-Day Cup. It is a fixture bound to have needle, as the Cobras were left high and dry by the weather in Durban last week, in the semi-final of the T20 competition.
“We have to go again, and we will convene again (today), and plot a way forward.
“The Cobras are a good team, and I am sure they will be coming hard at us,” the all-rounder warned.