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It's time we won a final

Posted in Clydesdale Bank 40

Reaching the Clydesdale Bank 40 final has gone some way towards making up for the disappointment of losing to Leicestershire on Friends Life t20 finals day.

We were gutted to lose that game. Looking back now we should have knocked off those runs. Thankfully we haven't been able to dwell too much on that and the CB40 has given us something else to focus on.

Next Saturday will be our second Lord's appearance in two seasons and fifth final in succession. It's about time we won one of them. We've played in enough of them; now we've got to get over that hurdle and win. We'd also like to win something for our members.

It's an honour to play in a Lord's final. Not many cricketers get the chance so to play two in as many years is a privilege.

Last year was a tremendous occasion, even though we lost to Warwickshire. It was my first one-day final at Lord's. Being at Lord's is what makes it so special. With the history and atmosphere it is an amazing place to play.

We batted first last year and were in a good position when Nick Compton and I were in. We were 176 for three but everything changed when Trotty ran me out which started a collapse.

Imran Tahir took five wickets and our innings petered out. We didn't get the score we were looking for and Ian Bell's brilliant hundred won it for them.

James Hildreth

We were cruising against Warwickshire at Lord's last year but it all changed when Trotty ran me out and we collapsed

We are looking to put that right this year. Surrey are an exciting young side which has some experience in there too. They are the strongest team in the country at 40-over cricket at the moment.

They have a dynamic batting line-up with Steve Davies and Rory Hamilton-Brown opening, Tom Maynard, who played well in the semi-final, Jason Roy and Zander de Bruyn, who we know from his time at Somerset. I'm pleased he's done well since moving to Surrey but I hope he doesn't come back to haunt us.

We are waiting to see if Tres and Nick will be fit for the final. Tres has been in an oxygen chamber to help his rehab but we won't know until nearer the time if he'll play. It looks like we'll get Kiesy back from England duty so that's a massive boost for us.

My first experience of playing in front of a full house at Lord's came six years ago was when I was 12th man for the 2005 Ashes Test. Coincidentally, they were showing highlights of day two on ESPN Classic on Monday night. That was the day I caught Ricky Ponting at point off Matthew Hoggard.

James Hildreth

I loved my time as 12th man during the 2005 Ashes Test at Lord's and even managed to catch out Ricky Ponting

I was so nervous when the ball came to me. It was one of those horrible catches where you have time to think about the ball coming towards you. I was thinking that if I dropped it then Ponting would probably go on and score 200. Luckily it wasn't a hard catch and I managed to cling on to it. It was such a relief. I went off soon afterwards and got an ovation when I went through the Long Room.

Being around the England team was a tremendous experience. It was the first time I had been in the England dressing room. It was so valuable to see how the players prepared and to listen to what was being said.

One thing I do remember at the time was having a skinhead. All the Somerset players decided to shave their hair off to raise money for a local charity. Only one player opted out - Caddy - perhaps for obvious reasons...

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