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David Masters: It felt we had won competition
WINNING on a night like we had at Nottinghamshire actually feels a bit like winning a competition.
It’s so important to get to Finals Day because the build-up is great and you know you are two games away from a trophy.
It came as no surprise to me that we beat Notts because are preparation that week was so good and our boys were so confident.
From a personal point of view it was nice to make an important contribution on a big occasion.
I knew I had to do something at that time because we were under pressure a bit.
Napes (Graham Napier) has been terrific this season but he had one of those nights where they got after him on a good wicket.
We’ve said that as a bowling unit that when that happens to one of us the others will come in and help to put it right.
And I got the bit between my teeth and bowled in the right areas.
And so I was obviously delighted to remove openers Alex Hales and Michael Lumb, because they are their dangermen.
Reece Topley again bowled in a way that is beyond his years, and Shaun Tait’s hat-trick will go down in the club’s folklore!
Notts are a good batting side but I said they would not have faced a bowling attack as good as ours this season, and that’s how it proved.
WE JUST NEED TO FOCUS ON WINNING TWO MATCHES
WE were honestly not bothered who we were drawn against because they are all very good teams.
We’ve just said that what we need to focus on is winning two matches to win the competition.
Northants won the Midlands group so that tells you how well they are playing, but we beat the northern group winners Notts in our quarter final so we’ll be confident.
It’s often the way in Twenty20 and on Finals Day that the matches are settled by a stand-out performance from one individual.
We saw the other night with Tendo (Ryan ten Doeschate) at Trent Bridge.
Without his runs we would not have been in a position to win that game, it’s as simple as that, and he was rightly man of the match.
The funny thing is that having so many good individuals at Essex can sometimes work against us I think.
That’s because it can allow players to look around and assume that someone else will step up to the plate if they are having an off day, and that may be a reason why we have been inconsistent.
But the bottom line is we have a squad full of match-winners and I don’t think anyone wanted to draw us at Finals Day.
We know we won’t start as favourites but I think we’ll be there or there abouts.
If we can get past Northants then personally I would like to beat Surrey in the final – because I always like beating Surrey!
But I think first and foremost we’d just love to get Essex through to their first ever T20 final.
I think there is a stat which shows that more teams who play second in the day, win it.
But when I played in Finals Day for Leicestershire in 2006 we were on first and beat Essex in the semi-final, and then went on to beat Notts in the final.
I don’t think it makes any difference whether you play first on the day or not.
FULL COLUMN IN WEDNESDAY'S ECHO