Jake Ball admitted that winning a T20 match with the bat was a completely alien experience following his all-round heroics for the England Lions on Friday.
The Nottinghamshire fast bowler thumped the final delivery of the match down the ground for four as the Lions secured the narrowest of victories, chasing 133 to win, against a UAE XI in Dubai.
“I was a little bit nervous,” he said. “That’s the first time I’ve been on the last ball needing one to win.
“But I knew the bowler was going to pitch it up, and if he missed his yorker then I backed myself to hit it over the infield.
“The fielders were up so I was just looking to get any sort of bat on it. Luckily it came out of the middle and went for four.”
Ball, who demonstrated his ability for clean hitting with an explosive 49 not out off 20 balls in a 2015 County Championship fixture against Warwickshire, had by then already taken two for 22 with the ball as preparations for the five match T20 series against Pakistan A continued.
“I think over the last couple of games the bowling unit have learnt a lot about bowling in these conditions and I think today was one of the better all-round performances,” added Ball.
“We used our slower balls well, we used our change-ups well, and we started to set fields for this sort of pitch rather than an English sort of pitch, which was good to see. Hopefully we can take that into the Pakistan series.”
The 24-year-old’s first over saw opener Mohammed Kaleem clean bowled for seven before the Welbeck Wizard returned to the attack to bamboozle Mohd Usman with a slower ball and dismiss him with a return catch.
Somerset paceman Jamie Overton also took two wickets, before 49 off 48 balls from Ben Foakes (pictured alongside Ball above) rescued the tourists from 39-4.
The Surrey wicketkeeper received support from Hampshire's Liam Dawson, and Worcestershire's Ross Whiteley in a belligerent cameo which included the only six of the innings.
But Dawson was given lbw pushing well forward for 20, Whiteley holed out going for another big hit, and the Lions still needed six to win at the start of the last over.
Foakes eased the pressure considerably with a skilfully improvised boundary off the first ball, only the second four of his innings. But he missed the next delivery and then picked out long on himself to depart with two runs still required from three balls.
Jamie Overton missed the next ball and took a single off the fifth, leaving Ball, who had come in after Foakes’s dismissal, to face his first delivery with the scores level.
The 2015 season has seen dramatic last-gasp four day victories, thrilling limited-overs contests and an historic Investec Ashes Test, all in the unique surroundings of Trent Bridge.
Next season, we’d wager, will be no less enthralling and frankly we’d hate for you to miss out.