The Steelbacks travel to Edgbaston on Saturday to contest in the Friends Life t20 Finals Day for the first time since 2009 and for the second time ever. They will meet the Essex Eagles in the first Semi-Final of the day at 11am, with the winner meeting the winner of Surrey v Hampshire Royals at 6.30pm.
The Steelbacks have had an unbelievable campaign and surpassed all expectations this year with their play. Their campaign shows the amount of hard work the squad put in over the winter, to change their white ball cricket form. The Steelbacks have won 8 of their 11 Friends Life t20 games this year, which led them to top the Midlands/Wales/West group.
In the Quarter Finals, the Steelbacks hosted Durham in front of a packed crowd at the County Ground. On the night, the Steelbacks put in one of the performances of the season as Cameron White scored 58 from 32 balls including 4 sixes, as the Steelbacks scored 183 for 4, which is one of the highest ever totals recorded in a t20 game at the County Ground. In reply, tight bowling by all of the Steelbacks bowlers restricted Durham to 147 for 6, meaning the Steelbacks won by 36 runs.
Going into Finals Day, Hampshire are the bookies favourites being the defending champions, as well finishing top of the difficult South group with 17 points having lost only 1 game so far in the competition. Surrey and Essex also both qualified from the tough South group and have made it to Finals Day.
Essex have a variety of world class t20 stars including Ravi Bopara, Owais Shah, Ryan ten Doeschate and Graham Napier, so have the ability to be destructive with the bat. Surrey are a well balanced team with players such as Steven Davies, Vikram Solanki, Azhar Mahmood and Jade Dernbach, so are a match for anybody. However they will be missing their captain Gareth Batty after he had an altercation during the Quarter Final victory over Somerset.
Muhammad Azhar Ullah
Richard Levi has returned from South Africa after being selected as a member of the South Africa A squad, for the one day Triangular Series. Andrew Hall and Olly Stone also come into the Finals Day squad.
Alex Wakely will lead a 15 man strong squad into Finals Day at Edgbaston on Saturday, in the hope of lifting the trophy at the end of the day.