Notts Outlaws seamer Harry Gurney returns to Edgbaston this week, reflecting on one of the best memories of his career.
The left-armer played a starring role on the famous ground when Notts lifted their only domestic T20 crown two years ago.
Gurney enjoyed a special Finals Day with the ball in 2017, taking three for 19 in the semi-final win over Hampshire before his four for 17 took the final completely away from this week’s opponents, the Birmingham Bears.
Samit Patel’s unbeaten 64 clinched the man-of-the-match award on the day but, as time goes by, Gurney wonders if he might have been in with a shout of the honour himself.
“At the time I could not have cared less, if I’m honest,” he reflected. “I was just so happy to have won the competition but in hindsight, when I look back, maybe I was a little bit unlucky. But it was a great day and I’ll always have incredibly fond memories of it.
“Samit and Brendan Taylor played amazingly in the final and did so well to get us to a defendable total and it was finished off with Dan Christian smacking a few at the end.”
Notts return to the ground to face the Bears on Friday, travelling on a high as it will be exactly one week after the Outlaws handed out a 71-run thrashing to Jeetan Patel’s side in Nottingham.
“Having beaten them quite convincingly on Friday night I think we go into this game with perhaps a slight psychological advantage,” he said. “But in pro sport every game is an independent event and we’ll have to perform well on the night to beat them.”
Notts remain on the fringes of the top-four qualifying positions but know they could have strengthened their hopes if they had managed to chase down a modest total at Emirates Old Trafford in their last match.
“Lancashire are a strong team,” Gurney said. “That’s why it would have been so satisfying and useful to have beaten them up there on their own ground.
“There’s a chance we might meet them again in the knock-out stages at some point, so hopefully we’ll save the win against them for the that game.”
All at Trent Bridge would probably agree that Notts haven’t yet hit their peak in this competition and still have plenty of work to do in the second half of the qualifying campaign.
They have taken seven points from seven matches and Gurney feels now is the time to put together an unbeaten run.
“Normally you need to win at least half of your games to have a chance of sneaking through, but I think you should be aiming for a minimum of 16 points to almost guarantee it,” he said.
“We still want to aim for those top-two positions, so we are looking to improve in the second half and build some momentum. Hopefully, then we can be in a good position in a couple of weeks from now.”
This could be a pivotal weekend for the Outlaws. They face Birmingham Bears away on Friday evening before travelling to the north east to oppose Durham on Sunday afternoon.
There are three further opportunities to catch the Outlaws in T20 action at Trent Bridge this summer, with the next home game under the lights against Derbyshire Falcons on Friday 16 August.