One Day Cup

Massive stakes for Dolphins and Lions

2018-01-23 17:49
Grant Morgan (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Dolphins coach Grant Morgan is hoping for more complete performances in the closing few rounds of the One-Day Cup regular season starting with one against the Highveld Lions in Durban on Wednesday.

The KwaZulu-Natal franchise have endured a poor past two games with back-to-back losses resulting in their home semi-final hopes hanging by a thread.

They have slipped from first at one point of the campaign to third and even wins in both remaining games - the second being against the log-leading Titans - will not guarantee that.

The Dolphins will need to win both games and hope the Cape Cobras slip up in their final match, but for Morgan, he wants a more complete showing by his charges.

Especially after they were beaten by the Titans in a low-scoring encounter in Pietermaritzburg at the weekend.

"We had them under pressure in Maritzburg and a lot of effort was needed for that," he said. "We had three or four opportunities to win it and we didn't. So it was frustrating.

"What we've done since the game is addressed the areas where we need to improve. We need to put bigger partnerships together and we need to make sure we fire all as one.

"Every single person has made a contribution over the season, but we haven't had it in a curve and we just need to get that curve going upwards."

Morgan is also keen to avoid a repeat of last season when they narrowly missed out on the play-offs.

"We want the public to know that there's not a softening of our mindsets now that we in the semi-final," he explained.

"There's no ways after last year that we can take for granted that things won't happen that will put us in a position that we can be again where we were last year.

"For me the disappointing thing is we started opening up daylight between the amount of games we'd won and lost."

Overall, the Dolphins have enjoyed a vastly improved 2017/18, highlighted by reaching the final of the T20 Challenge where they lost to the Titans.

"The thing we can play for at this juncture of competition is two-fold," Morgan said. "We improved in the RAM SLAM by ending second this year, we've showed the people we're improving.

"Now we've improved as in the position this year is similar to last year, the difference being there's more daylight between us and the sides with the same number of games played.

"But we don't just want to get into the semi-final. Last year we ended fourth when it was a second versus third play-off place. We want to finish as high as we can to improve again to open that day light."

The Lions edged the Dolphins earlier in the season when they won a final-ball thriller in Potchefstroom.

Morgan is desperate to make amends for that loss, adding: "They hold the advantage over us this season by beating us the way they did and now we want to get that back over them. So we're confident of taking them down."

The Johannesburg-based team have their own worries and plenty to play for at Kingsmead.

They are joint last on 11 points and need to overhaul the Warriors (13 points) to reach the semis.

Both teams have two matches remaining.

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