Essex skipper James Foster won't look back with regrets after T20 finals day defeat (From Basildon Recorder)
Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting ECHONEWS to 80360, or email us »
Essex skipper James Foster won't look back with regrets after T20 finals day defeat
ESSEX captain James Foster said they would not have changed their approach to their semi-final defeat to Northants in hindsight and felt they were just beaten by a side who “wrestled” the game away from them.
The Eagles posted a healthy 168 at Edgbaston, but a devastating partnership of 78 in just 21 minutes from Steven Crook – who Foster said should be in contention for England recognition – and Aussie import Cameron White, saw the Steelbacks home.
“I’m very disappointed right now,” said Foster. “I thought at half-time we had an above-par score – par score here has been 144 this season – so we were impressed with that and we thought that with scoreboard pressure we were in with a very good chance.
“I thought the way Crook came in and struck the ball such a long way was an incredible knock and having someone like Cameron White there with him, it was an exceptional finish for them.
“It’s one of those things where you look back and think perhaps we could have done something differently, but to be honest here I’m not sure we would.
“There are times in cricket where people just wrestle the game away from you, and I think that’s what happened here.
“We were in a very good position at halfway and knew with the type of bowling attack we have, we had a lot of skilful and wicket taking options.
“But those two guys have played exceptionally well and took it away from us.”
Despite Essex falling at the semi-final stage of Finals Day for the fourth time, Foster said they could look back on their campaign with some satisfaction.
He said: “You don’t rock up to Finals Day thinking ‘that’s an achievement well done, that’s your lot’. You want to go on and win the competition.
“There’s a lot of good Twenty20 sides out there, so it is an achievement to get in the top four.”
The defeat signalled the end of Shaun Tait and Hamish Rutherford’s stints as Essex overseas players, and Foster said they’d both be sorely missed.
He said: “A lot of credit goes to those two guys, they’ve been exceptional on and off the park. I really feel for those two guys, they really deserve to be in the final.
“The whole team deserves to be in the final, but we’ve been outplayed in those last six overs and Northampton were too good.”
And despite Saturday’s disappointment, Foster felt their appearance at Finals Day could be a catalyst for a strong finish to the season for Essex in the Championship, although he admitted it is going to be “hard work” to qualify from their YB40 group.
One continued big bright spot for Essex was another great display from 19-year-old bowler Reece Topley, and Foster admitted he continues to perform beyond his years.
He said: “Reece Topley has been outstanding all season, and if you look at his Twenty20 campaign he’s been exceptional.
“He’s a young bloke with a hell of a future ahead of him. Over the last couple of years he’s been one of our best bowlers and at that age, that’s probably unique.”