Another helter-skelter domestic cricket season recently came to a close and Hollywoodbets Dolphins coach Grant Morgan reflected positively on the past season, and highlights the amount of work his chargers have still to do to become the best franchise in South Africa.
The men from Durban challenged for two titles in the last season, with a shared Momentum One Day Cup title to show for their efforts. A disappointing showing in the RAM SLAM T20 Challenge final against a stacked Multiply Titans team was a blemish that Morgan’s men will look to put right in 2018/19.
With that said, they were in the hunt for the Sunfoil Series title too right up to final game of that campaign.
White ball cricket was where the Dolphins shone over the past season and amidst suggestions that the Dolphins may have got lucky due to the rain – a sentiment that coach Morgan believes is unfair on his players.
“We felt that it was incredibly difficult to keep playing on and off with all the rain and still win the games that counted,” Morgan stressed. “For long periods we were dominant in the T20 competition only to lose to one of the strongest domestic teams in the past decade with De Villiers and co. in that Titans team.
“Ultimately, the reason, for me, that the T20 final was so disappointing was that we did believe that we could win.”
Despite the loss, Morgan’s team brushed themselves off and showed the grit and determination that has become a trait of the side under his tutelage to share the One Day Cup title with the Warriors after a rained out final.
“To go into that 50 over campaign and show the mental fortitude to not crumble after the disappointment of the T20 final was admirable.”
Having performed well in the white ball formats, the Dolphins never quite got their Sunfoil Series campaign off the ground. Despite the fact that all the teams drew a number of the games, the Dolphins battled to get those crucial bonus points when they counted.
The Dolphins ended the Sunfoil Series in fifth place with a win, a loss and eight draws.
From the first game of the season when the Dolphins had to bat for 100 overs to save a draw against the Titans, they continued in that vein throughout and they fought hard for draws, but struggled to get into winning positions.
“We were never able to get on to the front foot in the red ball campaign,” Morgan mentioned. “The one positive though was the character that the players showed to fight back from tough positions.
“The players did some phenomenal things and fought back from some incredibly difficult positions to keep teams at bay.
“That was very satisfying but we still have a long way to go none the less.”
Contesting two finals and winning a trophy is a dramatic improvement on Morgan’s first season in charge of the Dolphins. Despite him saying that the team has a long way to go, it is positive to see the strides made by his players and staff.
“If you look at the measurables of your success you will want to see players at the top of the bowling and the batting averages but with so many of our games interrupted or lost to rain we were never going to feature too highly.
“If you look purely on results then I would say we have improved from last season and with the squad we have we will push even harder next campaign,” Morgan concluded.
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