Pat Brown believes holders Worcestershire Rapids non reliance on one or two individuals to produce the goods but instead having a host of players capable of “coming to the party” has been a key factor as they prepare for a second successive Vitality Blast finals day.
The paceman points to a succession of his team-mates “performing when it matters” and all chipping in at various stages have helped the Rapids qualify from the North Group and then overcome Sussex Sharks in the quarter-finals.
That win at Hove saw Ed Barnard, with two key wickets in an over, and captain and century-maker Moeen Ali make pivotal contributions but others have stuck their hand up including Brown bowling a vital final over in a low-scoring run at Durham when he conceded just three runs.
Brown said: “A great strength of ours and it’s almost a positive is if you look at the leading run-scorers and wicket-takers in the competition that we’ve not got anyone who is right up there.
“But we always have someone come to the party and deliver when we need it.
“When Mo is back especially, we talk a lot about that we need just one or two heroes every game and, if we get them, that will be enough for us to win.
“You saw Mo with the bat and Barny with the ball in the quarter-final. That’s all it takes really. It’s a positive that we’ve not got anyone up there in the averages performing unbelievably well.
“We’ve always had people perform when it matters and, if we can carry on that trait into finals day, then we will stand a good chance.”
The win under lights at Durham in hindsight was pivotal in helping the Rapids to qualify instead of their opponents.
The Rapids managed to defend a total of 117 after Durham had reached 79-0 in the 12th over.
Brown said: “That wasn’t just me. That was about the four or five overs that to even put me in that position to be able to bowl that last over.
“That’s the perfect example of a game where we were dead and buried and we just had people stand up. Parney (Wayne Parnell) bowled unbelievably that game.
“It might not be a performance in a game. It might be one over.
“If on Saturday, I bowl three overs for 35 and then close out the last over and we win, the firsts three overs are irrelevant.
“I think in T20 it’s such fine margins that you can’t always look at the whole performance.
“It’s little spells in games that win it – and that last five overs at Durham won us the game. The 15 before that were almost irrelevant.”
Brown was the leading wicket-taker in the competition last summer with 31 victims and is the Rapids leading wicket-taker with 14 this summer.
He said: “I didn’t put too much pressure on myself to try and back up last year because anyone would say last year was an incredible achievement and it would be almost impossible to follow it up the next year.
“My focus was to keep performing and if I can win one or two games on my own or contribute heavily and be that hero we talk about in one or two games, I see that as doing my bit and I think I’ve done that.
“Whilst my performances haven’t been what they were last year, and that’s partly down to my execution and partly down to people being ready, I still think I’ve contributed enough good stuff and contributed to say I’ve had a good season still and my stats are still pretty good to be fair.
“Although they are not the same as last year, it’s easy to see it in a negative light but looking at this year in isolation, it’s still been a pretty good year.”