The Titans were beaten by the David Miller-inspired Dolphins in Thursday night’s qualifying playoff for the final, leaving the KwaZulu-Natal side to take on the Cape Cobras in the final at Newlands on Sunday.
“To sum up our campaign, I would say we showed glimpses of what we can do, but never really put it all together. It was an inconsistent campaign and making the playoff for finishing third was a small reward for the times we did play well,” Walter told The Pretoria News.
“Our skills can be better in everything and you’d hope a team always has that mindset. We were short in all departments and you can’t do things well one day and not the next if you’re going to win competitions. We need to improve our skills and execute them more consistently.”
The Dolphins were sent in to bat and posted a daunting 200 for four in their 20 overs. Their innings was dominated by Miller, who hammered an outrageous 93 not out off just 37 balls.
The Titans had fought back well after a rapid start by Cameron Delport and Morne van Wyk had taken the Dolphins to 50 midway through the seventh over. Their night would have been very different had Miller been given out lbw on five when Albie Morkel, the ball after dismissing Daryn Smit, angled a delivery into the left-hander from around the wicket and struck him on his pads. The ball would clearly have hit the stumps, but umpire Ian Howell ruled not out, presumably believing the ball had struck the batsman just outside off stump.
“The Miller lbw shout was out, but those aren’t given sometimes. It was a big decision in a big game and at 80-5 in the 13th over, it would have been a different match. But the Dolphins and Cobras playing in the final is a fair reflection of the competition as a whole.
“I think they should use DRS in all televised matches, with one referral. Against the top-quality players you generally only get one chance. But it was an extraordinary innings and at some point you just have to give credit to the batsman. I haven’t seen striking like that for a long time, he didn’t mistime a single ball and it was a serious effort,” Walter said.
Although the Titans bowlers were taken to the cleaners by Miller – most notably Ethy Mbhalati (two overs for 35) and Roelof van der Merwe in an 18th over that cost 34 runs – Walter said their performances had not been poor.
“I don’t think we bowled badly, it’s just that Miller hit every length and all our slower balls. It’s easy to criticise in retrospect, but sometimes the bowlers just have to go with how they feel on the day.
“And I was proud of the way we batted, it was a bloody good chase. On any other day, Heino Kuhn’s 76 off 39 would have been the stand-out innings and then Mangaliso Mosehle produced a flippen’ awesome cameo at the end [31 off 14].”
But T20 is a school of hard knocks and Walter was left to reflect that “it was a game of very small margins”.
“Losing Albie Morkel and David Wiese back-to-back took the wind out of our sails. Before that the required run-rate was less than 13 and it was game on.”
For Walter, the performances of senior players like Kuhn, Van der Merwe, Farhaan Behardien and the Morkel brothers were positives from the campaign as a whole, and youngsters like Graeme van Buuren and Theunis de Bruyn also produced match-winning showings that they could be proud of.