By Chris Devine at Lord's
Chris Read reflected on one of the proudest moments of his career after Notts Outlaws ended a 24-year wait for a limited-overs trophy by defeating Glamorgan in the Yorkshire Bank 40 final.
Samit Patel inspired Notts to victory with a stunning burst of three wickets in nine deliveries that triggered a Glamorgan collapse from 108 for two to 157 all out.
Read, who top-scored with 53 in his side’s total of 244 for eight, is no stranger to success having lifted two County Championship titles during his time at Trent Bridge.
However, the captain admitted victory in a Lord’s final was particularly sweet given the amount of time he and Notts have gone without a prize in white-ball cricket.
Read made his List A debut in 1995 and said of the YB40 win, the club’s first one-day triumph since the 1989 B&H Cup: “This is something that has been nagging at me for a number of years - can we get to a Lord’s final, can we do it in my career?
“So to have got there and to have won and lifted the trophy is a fantastic feeling; it’s right up there.”
Asked about the barren spell since 1989, the 35-year-old added: “It’s been a long time. I think there’s a couple of guys in our squad who weren’t even born then, let alone remember it.”
In sharing 99 with David Hussey and setting the platform for late cameos from Graeme Swann and Steven Mullaney, Read made a key contribution to Notts’ success.
His innings was a welcome return to form following a largely frustrating campaign in which he has been unable to deliver his usual level of consistency with the bat.
Reflecting honestly on his performances in 2013, Read said: “I’ve been terrible. I’ve worked so, so hard hitting balls left, right and centre and it just hasn’t worked for me this season.
“I’ve been consistent for a lot of seasons now so it’s had me thinking this season about what exactly is going wrong.
“At the end of the day sometimes it takes a big game like this to actually say that what it’s about is watching that ball and trying to do the best you can for your team. That’s what I set out to do from the start and did it pretty well.”
Read was also understandably keen to hail Patel, who bowled Chris Cooke and Jim Allenby with outstanding deliveries before trapping Murray Goodwin lbw.
“Fantastic, wasn’t he? If you look at the wickets he got and how he took them, I thought he was absolutely brilliant today,” reasoned the skipper.
With Swann available to Notts and Steven Mullaney also expected to play a key role with the ball under overcast skies, Patel had not anticipated making such an impact after failing with the bat.
“I wasn’t expecting to bowl. I didn’t think I was going to get one today with Swanny and Steven Mullaney in the squad,” Patel explained.
“I’m not renowned for spinning it that much but to get wickets like that was very pleasing. It was a big game and I pride myself on being a big match player, but as long as we win I don’t mind.
Asked about pre-match reports that had suggested Patel was extremely confident of victory, the all-rounder added: “I think that was blown out of context, really.
“On paper we are a strong side and if we turned up and played the brand of cricket we wanted we’d come close to winning the game and we did.
“In the end it was touch-and-go - 244 was about par. We knew we had to bowl and field excellently and the boys did that.”
Notts will now turn their attention to securing top-flight status in the LV= County Championship by recording a home victory over fellow strugglers Somerset.
“I hope the momentum and the joy we’ve experienced today will carry on through next week,” concluded Read.
“We have played some good red-ball cricket, although for the most it has been a mightily disappointing season and to go into the last game not knowing if you’ll be in Division One next year, for a side as big as we are and with a squad of such quality, is very disappointing.
“It’s a different form, one we’ve not been overly successful in recent months but we’ve got to come out fighting on Tuesday. We are fighting for survival, which is integral for the club.”