After an action-packed group stage of the CSA T20 Challenge, the Hollywoodbets Dolphins and the Momentum Multiply Titans will face off in the competition final at the JB Marks Oval in Potchefstroom on Saturday.
The Titans were the form side of the competition with six wins from their seven matches, with a solitary loss to the Rocks in the pool stage.
It was a contrasting start for the Dolphins who lost two of their first three matches in the competition but managed to find their groove in the fourth match when they beat the Warriors by 123 runs.
They continued in that strong vein of form when they beat the DP World Lions, Six Gun Grill Western Province and had a washout against the Itec Knights when they were in a strong position.
Wednesday’s semi-final victory over the defending champion Rocks will give the side confidence going into the final match against an in-form Titans team.
It has been a strong team effort throughout the competition from the Dolphins, however, they have several players that have stood out in the overall competition statistics.
Grant Roelofsen has been the competition’s most consistent run scorer and is currently the highest run-scorer in the tournament with 333 runs at a strike rate of 133 runs per hundred balls, with three scores over 50.
From a bowling perspective, the Dolphins have been in good form throughout, and they have some players who are amongst the competition’s best.
Ottniel Baartman is the second-highest wicket-taker in the competition with 15 scalps at an economy rate of just over 6.5 runs an over. Baartman also became the first bowler to pick up a five-for when he took 5/14 against the Warriors.
The Dolphins captain Prenelan Subrayen is fourth on the list after he picked up twelve wickets in his eight matches in the competition while Eathan Bosch has taken eleven wickets throughout the tournament.
For Dolphins assistant coach Quinton Friend, the bowlers have been one of the main reasons for getting the Dolphins to this point of the competition.
“The bowling attack has really stood up in this competition as they have done over the last three years in this format,” Friend said. “The one thing that we are doing well as a bowling unit is keeping things simple and we’ve put a big emphasis on death bowling.
“We’ve tried to focus on ourselves specifically and it has been going well in this competition so far for us.”
The Dolphins face a Titans side that have lost one match in the lead-up to the final, however, the Dolphins’ form in the second half of the competition has been impressive and Friend feels they are peaking at the right time.
“That Warriors victory is probably where things turned around for us and the confidence in our bowling unit especially is very high at the moment.
“It’s been fantastic to see the team deal with the pressures that come with a competition like this and we’ve often had to defend low scores but these guys have stepped up again.
“Our batting line-up is a quality one and I don’t think we’ve quite hit our straps as a collective but we are confident in our batting line and if you want to win finals you have to be at your best.
“I think this is the perfect opportunity for everyone to be at their best,” Friend added.
The action at the JB Marks Oval gets underway at 14:30 on Saturday afternoon.