Danny Briggs admits the Bears players can't wait to harness the "amazing" support from the fans when they face Hampshire Hawks in the Vitality Blast quarter finals on Thursday.
The Bears are just one win away from returning to Edgbaston for Finals Day (Saturday 16 July) after topping the North Group to book a home tie in the last eight.
They face a sizeable obstacle in the Hawks who are historically very strong in the Blast. But the Bears are full of confidence , says Briggs for whom the game has a special twist against his former club. On the only previous occasion the sides have met in the Blast, in 2010, Briggs was in the Hawks team – and spun them to victory with three for 29.
“It will be cool to play against Hampshire, my old team, in a knockout game,” he said. “And it will be brilliant as always to play in the big game atmosphere at Edgbaston. I know all the boys love the support we get at home and I’m sure the supporters will be as vocal as ever on Thursday.
“It really is amazing to have support like that behind you. It can really affect a match which is why we were so determined to get a home quarter-final. It’s such a great incentive that Finals Day is at Edgbaston so we would be back in front of our home crowd. Now we just have to take that one last step. It will be tough because Hampshire are a very good side, but we have played some really exciting T20 cricket this year who will go in with confidence.”
The Bears powered through the North Group to finish top with nine wins out of 14 and a buccaneering batting Net Run Rate of 1.21 – much the best in either group.
“We felt at the start we had a team good enough to get through to the quarters but that is a lot harder said than done so it’s brilliant to have achieved that,” said Briggs.
“We’ve had a few crazy games. We’ve got over 200 seven or eight times which is amazing. The way our batters go out and shoot every time, you might have the odd hiccup but that’s the way we play and hopefully it will work again on Thursday.
“Everyone has contributed and everyone seems to be in form which is nice. The whole campaign has been great fun. To finish top shows how well we have played and now we are into the knockout games which are always special.”