Mascarenhas battles through the pain
The Hampshire captain Dimitri Mascarenhas battled the pain of twice tearing tendons in his shoulder in recent weeks to lead the county to the Friends Life t20 title with victory against Yorkshire.
Mascarenhas needed fitness tests before both the semi-final against Somerset and the final and did not bat in either match even though his clean striking would have been valuable in the closing stages of the innings. When asked before the final how the injury was effecting his bowling he said: "I can't get much slower."
Mascarenhas played a crucial role with the ball on Finals Day - his nagging medium pace proving difficult to score off on a sluggish pitch - taking a miserly 2 for 11 in the semi-final which he followed with 2 for 20 against Yorkshire to leave Hampshire chasing 151 for victory. Despite an onslaught by David Miller, who struck 72 off 46 balls, Hampshire held their nerve in the closing overs as Danny Briggs and Chris Wood followed the impressive work of their captain.
"I've torn my lat tendon. I tore it two weeks ago and then I tore it again last week when I tried to play CB40," Mascarenhas said. "I had a scan and it's torn so I had to grin and bear it. It was a huge stress to be honest. It's not one of those where you can have an injection.
"We were trying to sort out team selection if I didn't play and for the team balance. It's not easy when your captain is looking like he's not going to be fit. I was lucky enough to get through. I actually felt a bit better in the final - maybe it was the adrenaline. It took me through it. It felt a lot sorer in the semi-final, I felt like I was bowling a bit faster in the final."
It was Hampshire's second Twenty20 title in three seasons following their victory in 2010 when they won by losing fewer wickets against Somerset. However, they began this year's Finals Day as the least favoured of the four teams to make an impact.
"Personally for me - it's the best one by far," he said. "I missed the first win two years ago because I was injured. To win two games today and captain a young and inexperienced side was a great thrill and one I'll remember for a long time."
There were much different emotions for Andrew Gale, the Yorkshire captain, who had seen his side produce a superb all-round display in the semi-final against Sussex led by Jonny Bairstow's 68 off 45 balls. However, in both matches Yorkshire's top order failed to fire and, despite Miller's fantastic display, they had too much ground to make up in the final.
"When we were 40-odd for four I thought someone had to play very well to get us in a position to win and David played out of his skin," Gale said. "Going into the last over I was backing us. Unfortunately it didn't go our way but fair play to David for getting us in a position to win that game because we were dead and buried.
"If it wasn't for him we would have been nowhere; we could have been bowled out for 80. It would have been nice for us to spray that champagne around, I'm not going to lie, but when we reflect on this we'll see we've achieved something as a group."
Still, there is consolation for Yorkshire. Both finalists have earned places at the Champions League Twenty20 which will be held in South Africa during October although English teams have to go through the pre-qualifying phase before joining the main tournament.