Leicestershire's celebrations muted despite win
Leicestershire captain Matthew Hoggard's celebrations were muted despite his side, ultimately, prevailing over Lancashire in a Super Over Eliminator to book their place in the Friends Life t20 Final and also make the cut for the Champions League qualifier. Hoggard expressed his disappointment at the inclement weather and the widespread confusion caused by the repeated stoppages.
"It was a little bit disappointing that the weather played a big part in the game," said Hoggard. "It was going to be a good game by the looks of things, and to come off needing a six to tie off the last ball was a little bit of what dreams are made of. And getting into the super over and the six off the first ball your heart goes into your mouth and you think 'oh dear here we go'."
"I knew that it was going to be a tie because I ran up to [Wayne White] and I said 'look they can still tie' and he waved me away saying 'yeah whatever'. Then it went for six and then I thought 'what are we doing now?'"
"The amount of time it took to sort out the confusion, the 10 minutes sorting it out and getting your pads on, and bowling the two overs, we could've finished the game. But you can only do what you're told to. That's what we did and thankfully we managed to scrape a victory."
Lancashire were understandably glum after their defeat, captain Glen Chapple summing the match with: "It rained." He was quick to point out, however, that while Lancashire had invested themselves in 17 Twenty20 matches to get this far, they also have the small matter of the County Championship title to chase.
"This'll have no impact on the rest of the season," insisted Chapple. "Absolutely not. We'll be disappointed for the rest of the day, but in terms of lifting ourselves for the four-day cricket, that will not be a problem because we've got three games to go with a great chance of coming out on top in that."
"They'll hurt now as you would, they've just lost a game and obviously they were desperate to win it," agreed Lancashire coach Peter Moores. "By the time we get to Wednesday next week we'll be fine, we'll be ready to go."
Leicestershire, on the other hand, have had a season to forget in Division Two and the potential riches of the Champions League will provide a welcome distraction and allow them to re-group around their Twenty20 successes.
"It's going to be a fantastic experience for the players and the club," said Hoggard. "It's going to be a bit hectic at the end of the season, because it's very close to the end of the season.
"I'm going to have to postpone my Portugal golf trip, which is a little bit disappointing because I was looking forward to that," he joked. "But there you go, that's how the cookie crumbles. I'm not looking that far ahead. I've got a final to play in a couple of hours and I'll sit down with Phil at the end of the final and we'll have a drink and we'll discuss it another time because we've got India on Monday then we go straight down to lords to play a four day game. So there's no rest for the wicked."
Liam Brickhill is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo