Morgan aiming for improved starts

Sunfoil Series

Dolphins coach Grant Morgan is hoping for a much better first-innings batting performance during the second half of the Sunfoil Series campaign after reflecting on the first half with a degree of satisfaction.


The competition reached its halfway stage last week with the Durban-based franchise going into the break in fifth place on a total of 61.42 points, just over 18 behind leaders the Multiply Titans (79.68).


The second round of matches will only resume again next February as the focus in between shifts to the shorter formats.


Like most of the other sides, the Dolphins drew all five of their games, with the tournament witnessing only one win overall – the Titans overcoming the bizhub Highveld Lions in their final game.


Dolphins boss Morgan is satisfied on the whole, but he wants to see an improvement when they bat first in the four-day games.


“We have to be pleased with the fighthing spirit we showed and the ability to bounce back in a few games,” he said. “But there are also one or two things we are disappointed about and it has hit other teams.


“The weather has affected games, which we never want because we want to try and manufacture scenarios where we can get results and also the fact that we haven’t played as well in the first innings of games.


“It’s a discipline we feel we are stronger at and not to have done better is not very positive.”


But Morgan is happy with the way his depleted bowling line-up has progressed. Seamers Rabian Engelbrecht, Daryn Dupavillion, Lwandiswa Zuma and Okhule Cele have all been sidelined by injury through the early part of the campaign.


“We’ve had a number of injuries since the competition started, so the workload has been heavy on some of the others,” Morgan explained.


“But nonetheless I have to be proud of the way the guys have fought, especially if you look at the teams we have played thus far, we’ve had three against the top two from last year.”


The Dolphins have already played the log leaders home and away, whilst also having played the Knights, who are the reigning champions.


Morgan is now looking ahead to a change of scenery for the summer, adding: “I think all things considered, it hasn’t been a bad start to the season. I would say we’re content rather than happy and we can go into white-ball cricket in a good space. We look forward to challenging well in both competitions.”


Focus now shifts to the shorter format, with the T20 Challenge scheduled to begin next Friday, November 10.


The Dolphins play the Cape Cobras in the opening round.