OWAIS SHAH - Middlesex CCC, squad number 99
Q.) Would you rate your knock in the final as one of your best and most important ever innings?
A.) I'd say without doubt that it was one of my most important innings ever for Middlesex simply because of what it led to and certainly it is up there as one of my best ever one day innings. In the context of the game, the innings was crucial in taking the game our way at that stage and for that reason it was vitally important yes. It was my first ever final and to have that knock in the final made it all the more important in my eyes.
Q.) How do you explain Middlesex's success in this year's competition after all that has gone before in previous seasons?
A.) For me it's all about the group of players that we've got this year, which gives us so many options and many strengths. We've really created a winning formula around the players that we have! We've got two world class Twenty20 spinners, swing bowling, quality pace bowling and the best death bowling from Tyron that I've seen in a long time. Our batting is equally as impressive in my opinion, with so much quality at all levels. Whether it's Joycey's depth and quality, Malan's fluency and brilliance like he showed at the Oval, Tyron's strength or Eoin's class at the crease we've got it all. This allows me to tailor my game as the situation demands and guts it out or accelerate dependant on how we're doing. We play to the strengths of the group of players that we have in the side.
Q.) Explain how you felt when Tyron's last over was completed in the final and the cup was actually yours?
A.) It was a completely unique experience, one I've not felt before! A real lump in the throat moment, mixed with complete elation! For a player like me whose played at the club for a decade, it made me think that we've finally achieved what we should always be doing. For a club like Middlesex it's been way too long since the days of Gatting and Emburey when we won trophies, so I'm absolutely delighted for the club, really pleased! For it to be the big one, with all the incentives that come with it for the players and club alike made it even more special.
Q.) What was your highlight and lowlight of the finals day?
A.) My highlight of the day was without doubt when I hit those three sixes off of the Tredwell over. At that point I just knew I was in the zone, I knew I would score runs and in such an important game that for me stands out as the special moment! When I'm hitting the ball that well, I just know that I'm going to score runs, that how I felt at that point and that for me was my high point!
As for the lowlight, it just has to be Malan's overthrow - what a shocker!
Q.) With Middlesex off to Antigua, what chances do you feel the club has against the three sides you'll be playing against?
A.) At the moment I believe that Middlesex are playing as well in the Twenty20 game as any side out there, so why shouldn't we beat them! I'm sure all three of the opposition would love a recent record of 11 wins from 13 games, as we can boast, so why not! That's the joy of Twenty20 cricket; it's all about who does it ‘on-the-day'. All it takes is another brilliant innings from Malan, or a quality knock from the likes of Morg's or Joycey and it doesn't matter how well anyone plays, that kind of quality will win you the game. So yes, I'd fancy our chances, but I guess it all depends on what the squads are like and whose within the sides on the day!
MURALI KARTIK - Middlesex CCC, squad number 25
Q.) Compared with your test and ODI experiences with India, how did the experience of playing for Middlesex and winning the cup at the Rosebowl compare?
A.) The fact that you are an overseas player is itself an honour and if you win a trophy with the side you are playing for, its the best thing you can ask for, as that's what makes a county club go for a player....this performance ranks as high as any of my achievements and experiences with India and my state side Indian Railways.
Q.) How have you had to adapt your game to make you so effective in the Twenty20 format?
A.) I have always believed that the key in adapting to different game situations as a spinner is to know what delivery to bowl to which batsmen at what time, and the more you are aware of that the more successful you will be....in a way second guessing, but also keeping your skill execution of your variations to a very high level.
Q.) You were seen wearing a pink wig at the finals day winner's party. Any truth in the rumour that you took one home with you and is this therefore a new look that we should be expecting to see from Kartik in the months ahead?
A.) Yes it's true, I took one, but you won't be seeing me in that style again....I was thinking of wearing that wig during the finals day matches however.
Q.) What will be your lasting memory from the finals day?
A.) I think it definitely has to be Tyron Henderson's blitzkrieg in the semi final, Owais Shah's innings in the final and Dawid Malan's brainstorm throw.
Q.) How do you feel Middlesex will fair against the three sides you'll be playing against in Antigua?
A.) Regarding our chances against the others, it's very difficult for me to say anything really, as I have never been one to think about such things...all I can say is that no one should give us the kind of chances like they did in this year's competition....because if they do, we will definitely win then!
Click here to win your signed Middlesex shirt