Notts Outlaws head into another Trent Bridge quarter-final this week after confirming their status as the country’s most consistent short-format team.
This decade has seen the Outlaws advance through the group stages of the Vitality Blast and make the knock-out phase in nine of the 10 years.
Even more remarkable, their match against Middlesex on Thursday will be their eighth home quarter-final out of those nine matches.
In each of the past four seasons they have been led by the no-nonsense Australian, Dan Christian, who captained them to Finals Day victory in 2017.
“I’ve been pretty lucky,” reflected the 36-year old. “I’ve played in some successful teams here and in sides that have had some really good players.
“We’ve got a great list of players and anyone of them is capable of winning a game on any given day.”
Christian is the first to admit that this hasn’t been a vintage campaign so far, for his Outlaws.
Momentum has been difficult to achieve, with four matches being lost to the weather and one or two stuttering performances handicapping their progress.
“We did something similar thing last year and when we won in 2017 as well,” said Christian. “We scrapped our way to the quarters and didn’t play anywhere near our best cricket.
“This year we’ve played some good cricket but still haven’t had blokes firing as well as we would have liked.
“We’ve normally got some of the top run-scorers in the competition but I doubt we’ve got anyone near it this year.
“We’ve just had guys doing the job when we’ve needed it. It might have been an ugly 20 or 30 that has got us over the line.
“With the bowlers, Harry Gurney is right up there amongst the leading wicket-takers and has been fantastic. And our three spinners, Matt Carter, Samit Patel and Imad Wasim have all done a fantastic job as well.
“We’ve got them all contributing at different stages, which is really important leading into the knock-out stages.”
Christian has his sights set on his fourth appearance at Finals Day, having skippered Notts there twice and secured a winner’s medal with Hampshire in 2010.
In between, he had a short spell with this week’s opponents, Middlesex.
“They had a good result the other night and must have played fantastically well to beat Somerset like they did,” he said.
“They’ve got some fantastic players in their side, so it will be a challenge for us but on our home turf we can hopefully produce the kind of form that has got us to this stage.”
Notts Outlaws face Middlesex in the quarter-finals of the Vitality Blast at Trent Bridge on Thursday, September 5 at 7pm.