Spinner Ish Sodhi has his eyes set on making it back to back Finals Days as Nottinghamshire take on Somerset in the final Vitality Blast Quarter-Final.
The New Zealander has played a key role in the Outlaws' progression to the knockout stages of the tournament for the 10th time after finishing fourth in the North Group.
Now Notts face the same opponents at the same stage of the competition as last year and Sodhi is hoping to draw upon that heading into tomorrow’s game.
“It’s fantastic to be going through to the quarter-finals, it’s a place which we got to last year, and it was fantastic to win the competition last year and now we’re three games away from that same achievement hopefully,” he said.
“We played them in the quarter-final and beat them, so we’ve got that edge over them a little bit but it’s a different year with a different team.
“Whatever Sunday brings with the weather and the conditions we’re going to have to adapt as soon as we can, but I know the lads will be amped to play this quarter-final.”
The Outlaws have found form at a vital time in the tournament winning their last three games to secure the final qualification spot despite an inconsistent campaign.
However, Sodhi believes that now things are falling into place for Notts.
“Last year we had a lot of games that went our way, a lot of things went our way and we had a bit of luck,” he said.
“I think this year we’ve been struggling for that a bit. Since the game against Yorkshire I think we really came together as a group and everyone’s starting to play their roles really well.
“It started with the bat against Yorkshire and then with the ball against Yorkshire again.
“We’re really lucky we’ve got 11 match winners across the board, so any dog can have its day.
“I think at one point, one player can take the game away from you; that was Alex Hales in the last one, Harry Gurney also with the ball and when you’ve got that many match winners in the team if one or two of them stand up, you definitely put up a decent performance as a unit.
“That’s something we’re trying to keep doing and hopefully we can do it again on Sunday and progress to Finals Day.”
Looking back on the inconsistencies of the group stages, the spinner thinks the conditions may have played a role but now the Outlaws are seeing the benefits of a tough start.
“We’ve been fortunate at the back end of the tournament we’ve had some really good performances with the bat and I think that’s through experience of playing on some tough wickets in the first half of the competition. The boys have adapted really well,” he said.
“We’ve won eight games which is the same number of games we won last year so it’s amazing to be in a completely different spot; we’re fourth in the table as opposed to top but we’ve won the same amount of games.
“It’s just the way T20 goes and how the competition has gone so far but peaking at the right time is always important as well and I think we’re on our way to do that.”
The right armer has taken 18 wickets in the competition so far but Sodhi was keen to highlight the performances of his teammates in the competition so far.
“We’ve been really fortunate in the way Jake Libby has come in and played, in his first season he’s averaging 33 and striking at 150 or something like that, for a guy that plays conventional cricket shots,” he said.
“It shows there’s still room for that in T20 cricket, whether you can bash the ball or bowl yorkers there’s still conventional cricket to be played.
“He’s done really well, I think he’s taken Tom Moores along with him as well, they’ve forged a really good partnership in the middle.
“Alex Hales is a world class player and he’s come good at the right time and Dan Christian has been the glue in the middle.
“Harry Gurney is the best in the world and it’s been said a few times this week he’s been absolutely fantastic, he’s led our attack really well and he’s brought us along with him.”
Somerset finished top of the south group with ten wins from 14 and Sodhi is aware of the threats the opposition pose.
“They’re a fantastic side, they’ve topped the group for a reason and they’ve done really well,” he said.
“Their bowling attack has been really good for them especially up the top.
“Max Waller is a really good performer for them day in, day out so how we play him is going to be really important.
“Across the board they’re pretty good batsmen so we’re going to have to scout them and make some good plans and as a bowling attack stick to our strengths and hopefully we’ll come out on top.”
With his second spell at Trent Bridge nearing its end, Sodhi is hoping for a similar finish to his stint as last season.
“I love playing for Nottingham and I’ve turned into an Outlaw inside and out,” he said.
“I guess that’s down to the leadership group of Dan Christian, (Steven) Mullaney, (Luke) Fletcher and (Harry) Gurney’s of the club; it’s been great.
“It’s all in our control; we’ve got to play a good game on Sunday, get to Finals day and hopefully go back to back.
“It’ll be some achievement and I’m sure the boys are looking forward to it.”
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