Saturday will be a momentous day for Worcestershire as the Rapids make their first appearance at T20 Finals Day.
Their performances in the competition this year have been superb, topping the North Group before beating Gloucestershire in the quarter-finals.
To look ahead to the huge day for the club, Deep Extra Cover spoke to Worcestershire fan Lindsay Clayton and her daughter Jen, who began by telling us why the Rapids have been so impressive this season.
“They did well last year and in this year’s One-Day Cup so building on some good white ball form, combined with a very good blend of fearless youth, more experienced cool heads and overseas players.”
It has, of course, been a team effort for the Rapids to make it to Edgbaston – where they would dearly love to win it at the home of their rivals – but every side needs some standout players. Lindsay and Jen were able to name several key contributors.
“Pat Brown (competition leading wicket taker), Callum Ferguson, Brett D’Oliveira, Daryl Mitchell and Moeen Ali, when he has been available, have all been crucial.
“And that’s not forgetting the big hitting of Ross Whiteley scaring the heck out of most bowlers. But all the team contribute which is why we have done so well.”
Worcester boys are happy!! pic.twitter.com/o7lM0Heu0q
— Dave Bradley (@braddersatbbc) August 25, 2018
So what exactly does reaching Finals Day for the first time in the competition’s 16-year history mean to supporters?
“It does mean a huge amount,” Lindsay said.
“We have been very good in white-ball cricket for the last two seasons, so reaching Finals Day for the first time in the county’s history is reward for so much hard work and underpins the progression that the county has made.
“The youth policy has given so many 19/20 year olds their chance to shine and they haven’t let us down.”
Worcestershire have made it to Edgbaston against the backdrop of their battle to remain in Division One of the Supersavers County Championship.
Having only been promoted last season, many Pears fans will be keen to retain their top-flight status. But Lindsay and Jen explained why a Blast victory would mean more.
“It takes longer to learn your craft for four-day cricket, more overs at the crease and in the field.
“Youngsters play a great deal of white-ball cricket in the age groups, hence why Pat Brown has so many variations already at just turned 20.
“With such a young side staying in Division One was always going to be a big ask, so yes winning the Blast would be preferable to staying in Division One. Mainly because of the confidence boost it would give all concerned.”
And these Worcestershire fans are full of belief that their side can be lifting that trophy aloft at Edgbaston on Saturday night.
“Always believe! They are such a young side they have no fear. All of them are able to contribute from one to 11.
“We will be without an overseas player as Martin Guptill is injured and unable to return for us which will make it tough but Mo will be back, as will Jos Buttler and Keaton Jennings for Lancs (who Worcestershire face in the first semi-final).
“It is going to be a HUGE ask, but we have beaten Lancs in T20 this season at Old Trafford and the lads have come this far, I can’t see them bottling it now.
“Additionally they love Edgbaston! We have won there twice this season and last season too. Big teams at big grounds hold no fear for us as we have a good away record.”