Pat Brown said Worcestershire Rapids never lost belief they could triumph in Thursday’s nail-biting Vitality Blast win over Durham at the Emirates Riverside.
Durham reached 79-0 at one stage in pursuit of a 118 target with D’Arcy Short and Scott Steel seemingly in control.
But Brown felt the slow nature of the wicket meant any new batsman would find it difficult to score freely and that the Rapids could then apply pressure – which they did to great effect.
He was left with the task himself of bowling the final over after Wayne Parnell and Dillon Pennington had applied the brakes in the previous two and responded by helping the Rapids to win by three runs.
Brown said: “We know we are a very strong bowling team and especially on pitches like that is what we thrive on really.
“We definitely thought we had got a chance of restricting them and just needed to keep pressure on.
“If you could get a couple of wickets in quick succession, like we kept doing, it put real pressure on the batsman coming in. It was the type of wicket where, if someone got to 30, they needed to go on.
“It was hard to start on that sort of wicket and our focus was to squeeze the batsmen as much as we could, have mid-on up, make them try and hit over the top on a wicket holding up a bit.
“Thankfully it bought us a wicket. Another day, a couple of shots go just over the top and you lose but thankfully it was our day. That sort of performance shows the character we’ve got.”
Brown was full of praise for Pennington’s efforts under intense pressure in the 19th over when runs were at a premium.
He said: “Dill would not have done that much before. To do that, defending 15 runs off two overs like we were, was a brilliant effort by him – and also Parney before that, giving away only two or three runs.
“We showed real clarity in our plans and real bottle. I think our squad is one of the only teams in the competition that can defend a score like that and pull a victory out of the bag when it’s not quite expected.”
Brown restricted Durham to three singles and two leg byes as well as picking up a wicket in the final over.
He said: “I was under pressure because I wanted to do it but most people expect the batting side to chase eight in the last over.
“It was almost a no-lose situation. If they get the runs, it is kind of expected and if you get a bit of luck like I did, it’s a nice feeling.
“I just tried to have nice clear plans and execute my skills and thankfully they didn’t get any twos on a big playing area. They just kept jamming it into the 30 yard circle for ones.
“It was a mixture of skill and a bit of luck. You need a bit of luck in death bowling. It only takes one edge to go for four.”