Unbeaten Dolphins positive ahead of T20 Knock Out quarters: 'Our side has stepped up'

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Quinton Friend
Quinton Friend
Lee Warren/Gallo Images

After qualifying top of the CSA T20 Knock Out Group C with three wins from three matches, the Dolphins coaching staff are happy with how the side performed over the three days in Bloemfontein, giving them critical momentum going into the play-offs.

Over the three matches, the Dolphins picked up two bonus-point wins and then snuck over the line against a valiant Easterns Storm side on the second day of the competition. Dolphins assistant coach Quinton Friend saw that result as an important moment in their campaign.

"We were nicely challenged against the Easterns Storm, which I think is a positive when you going into a play-off," Friend said.

"Now the guys have already got that taste of what it's like to be able to execute at the death under pressure."

The Dolphins produced three strong performances in the pool stage, but Friend believes that the quality of the cricket was of a high standard which stands the side in good stead going into their quarter-final against the Warriors next week.

"What was nice to see was the way in which we dealt with the situations we were faced with over the three days," said Friend.

"In the first game, we were really good in all aspects but in the second game, I felt that when we started getting partnerships together, guys got out and that makes it tough to post a significant score.

"What was good was how the guys held their nerve from a bowling perspective and go on and defend that total."

The bowling unit of the Dolphins provided them with the platform to dominate and for Friend, while the regulars did their job, it was the lesser-known bowlers who also stood up.

"What stood out most of all for me is someone like Bryce Parsons," he added.

"He's obviously still a young player finding his feet at this level, but he showed a calm head on his shoulders and it was wonderful to see how he handled the pressure of bowling in crucial stages for us.

"Whoever has come into our side has stepped up and performed, which has made selection very, very difficult for us."

The squad depth that the Dolphins have is an element that they have spent a lot of time on acquiring and it's something that Friend and the other coaches have worked hard on developing.

"The key thing for us is that everyone who comes into the side has a clear role definition and that is massive in how we want to play our T20 cricket," he continued.

"We've made sure that guys understand their roles in the team and how they should be playing.

"We've always said that guys mustn't be afraid of playing their own game and we want to free the players up and make them feel comfortable in the environment where they can execute their skills."

The Dolphins face the Warriors in their quarter-final at the Diamond Oval in Kimberley on Wednesday, 20 October.

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