Warwickshire will face Somerset in the Royal London Cup semi-final at Edgbaston on Monday determined to deliver the prospect of a Lord's final for their supporters.
The Bears missed out on a third successive NatWestT20Blast Finals Day appearance this year, but while that showpiece occasion has eluded them, they are one victory from a final at Lord's - always a memorable occasion.
"To play in a Lord's final is a great incentive," said director of cricket Dougie Brown. "We were bitterly disappointed to miss out on T20 Finals Day this year but a day out at Lord's is an outstanding experience for any player, coach or fan. It is very special.
"Semi-finals are, in many ways, the biggest game because you know what is at stake. Somerset will present a tough challenge but they know we will too. They know Edgbaston is a bit of a fortress in big games and in the last two 50-over games we have defeated two very good sides.
"If we play somewhere close to how we have played in the last two games we will be very difficult to beat."
Having comfortably won a must-win final group game away to Yorkshire Vikings, the Bears produced an excellent all-round display to defeat Essex Eagles by 70 runs in a quarter-final at Edgbaston.
"That was a top team performance with every single person contributing to what was in the end a pretty emphatic victory," Brown said. "Trotty played beautifully in a great partnership with Tim Ambrose which laid the platform for Laurie Evans to go in and play like he can, in a completely dominating way with some incredible shots.
"Laurie's innings was absolutely blistering and his reverse-sweep for six was just ridiculous. One-day cricket is about having fun and hopefully sending the crowd home thinking they have seen something awesome. That shot was awesome."
While Evans provided the dazzling late cameo, the foundation stones of victory were a century from Jonathan Trott and an excellent three-wicket spell by leg-spinner Josh Poysden.
"Trotty is just a world-class player," said Brown. "He changed his position in the order and went up top, as he has done for Warwickshire and England over the years, and showed again just how good a player he is.
"Josh is a bit of an unsung hero for us. We have wanted to play him in a lot of white-ball games this season but sometimes the dynamics of games, if there is short boundary on one side, mean it is difficult. He bowled beautifully, incredibly sensibly and could have had more than three wickets. In conditions like those he is worth his weight in gold."
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