Beer on Finals Day: Sad to lose but what a great occasion for Sussex

Will Beer and team-mates celebrate a wicket against Worcestershire in the final / Picture Stephen Lawrence-Sussex Cricket
Will Beer and team-mates celebrate a wicket against Worcestershire in the final / Picture Stephen Lawrence-Sussex Cricket

There’s no hiding from the fact that it was gutting to fall at the final hurdle in this year’s T20 competition – and we will reflect on what we could have done better to win – but that doesn’t stop me looking back fondly at what was an incredible occasion.

It doesn’t matter if you’re Luke Wright playing your 300th T20 match or Phil Salt at the start of your career: playing in a final at an international ground in front of an international-sized crowd is what you want to be experiencing as a player.

I’ve been playing for 11 years now and days like Saturday are the ones that provide the best memories.

T20 Finals Day is a great day, it’s brilliantly run and it’s a fitting finale for a competition as great as the Vitality Blast.

The Sussex fans at Edgbaston were by far the loudest in the ground.

When we were on the verge of victory in the semi, they started singing ‘Good Old Sussex by the Sea’ and I was reminded of James Kirtley running up to a 20-year-old me at the 2009 Finals Day and telling me to make sure I took the everything in.

It’s so easy as a young cricketer to be so focussed on the match itself you aren’t aware of the scale of the occasion going on around you, so I made sure that this year I went over to Phil Salt and Delray Rawlins and did the same.

It was an awesome moment, the like of which doesn’t come around that often, and I wanted to make sure those boys took a step back to enjoy it and to take in just how awesome it was.

I’ve spent the past five Finals Day watching on TV with a sense of envy, so I was chuffed to be out there playing once again.

I was pretty satisfied on a personal level with how I performed.

Finals Day in pictures
Wright reflects on Edgbaston heartbreak
Sussex reach Blast final
It was a wicket that suited pace off the ball and I think Danny Briggs and I handled the occasion pretty well.

In the final we managed to drag the game back Sussex’s way after Worcestershire had made it to 53 without loss in the powerplay and I think we can both be pretty pleased with our effort, having made sure the team were still in with a chance after bowling our overs.

As a pair, I think we go under the radar a bit. We’re a fairly useful partnership in white ball cricket and hopefully we can continue to team up next year.

I’m hoping that my performances this year might mean there is room for three spinners in our Blast line-up when Rashid is back with us.

Looking back at this year’s Blast as a whole, I’m so proud that as a team we put ourselves in a position to win the tournament.

We played well throughout and the semi-final win over Somerset was a dominant performance. I’m looking forward to building on that in 2019.