Matt Walker heaped praise on his Kent players after they secured a home quarter-final in the Vitality Blast competition.
Kent take on Lancashire Lightning at The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence, tonight (Thursday, 7pm).
Spitires knew that victory over Essex on Friday would all but guarantee a home tie in the next round having already booked their place in the last eight by beating Somerset.
They beat Essex by five wickets at Chelmsford after chasing down the home side’s total of 201.
Head coach Walker said: “The objective at the start of this pool stage was qualify and get a home quarter-final. Credit to the boys, they’ve played brilliantly for the last few weeks.
“I think we’ve deserved everything we’ve got. We’ve won games in lots of different ways but a lot of brave and courageous cricket at this stage.
“Once you get on a winning roll, you start to believe and things start to happen to you.
“The pressure was off a bit knowing we qualified last night.
“I thought that run chase was masterful. We’ve chased well and we’ve defended well. You have to do that if you are going to progress in these competitions.
“To come here to Chelmsford, which is never easy, and chase down 200 is a great effort. I loved the way the boys played tonight. It was positive from ball one.”
Daniel Bell-Drummond top scored in that run chase with 80 and has hit two half-centuries in his last three matches of the tournament.
The 25-year-old has played in the second team and in the Kent Premier League in recent weeks to find some form with the bat. Walker said: “He’s played well all competition.
“The constant development of him in this format is great. From where he was a few years ago to being one of the leading batsmen in the country is great.
“His white ball batting this year has been brilliant and that’s not always been easy to do when he’s struggled with the red ball.
“He’s managed to detach himself from that and do well in the white ball format. He held that chase together.”
Spitfires had won another high-scoring match the night before their triumph in Essex. They defeated Somerset by five runs at Canterbury on Thursday.
Kent fans can buy their tickets for the Vitality Blast quarter- final match with Lancashire on Thursday.
Advanced tickets are priced at £20 for adult members or £25 for non-members.