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Stakes get higher for Morgan's Dolphins

Grant Morgan
Grant Morgan
©Cricket South Africa

Hollywoodbets Dolphins coach Grant Morgan concedes that every match in the second round of the CSA T20 Challenge has now taken on extra significance following their poor opening half of the campaign.

The KwaZulu-Natal side face an important Easter double header against the Gauteng pair, the Multiply Titans and the bizhub Highveld Lions, over the weekend.

They begin that challenge with a home game against the defending champions at the City Oval in Pietermaritzburg on Saturday, followed by an away trip to the Lions in Potchefstroom on Monday.

Morgan’s side have managed just a solitary win from the first five games, which has left them second bottom on the table.

“The way things have gone, it means that every single game has suddenly become important,” the coach said. “It just shows how marginal these white-ball competitions can be, in the sense that when weather comes into it, that extra two points you can force out of getting your disciplines right can turn things very much into your favour.”

The competition has been ravaged by rain as well, which has also not aided the Dolphins – two of their games have been washed out by the weather.

“We’re very used to being in these kinds of situations with weather, but we just have to win one or two close ones…we are very capable of winning a game properly,” Morgan explained. “But as I said last year that we must learn how to win the close ones because those are the ones that will push us through this time around.”

Looking ahead to the challenge of playing the Titans, who were beaten by the Lions on Thursday, the Dolphins coach felt they had every chance of victory. “The preparation for us is the same no matter whom we are playing,” he concluded. “The importance of any game is always massive for us, but we still have to take it one at a time.

“You can’t keep reminiscing on the past and worrying about the future, because then you lose focus on the now. We’ve got to look to Saturday for now.”

For the Titans, the game will be the second of six in a busy two-week period. In fact, all the teams have a heavy schedule in what is a tight competition.

For the champions, it is slightly busier considering they also had the derby before the weekend and coach Mark Boucher says how his players cope will be important in the final outcome of the regular season.

“We play six games in 12 days, so time will tell how the players deal with it,” he added. “Hopefully we don’t have too many injuries.

“It’s undoubtedly going to be tough on the guys, but we’re up for a bit of a challenge.

“It hasn’t been the best start for us, but not because we haven’t been playing good cricket. We’ve just been on the receiving end of some bad weather.”

Defeat to the Lions on Thursday has left the Titans fourth, a point ahead of the Dolphins and eight behind the leaders, the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras.