YB40 Final: Glamorgan and Notts set for Lord's showpiece showdown
Robert Croft and Paul Allott look at how Glamorgan and Notts are shaping up for the YB40 Final.
Last Updated: 20/09/13 2:41pm
The Welsh side were last at HQ in 2000 when they lost to Gloucestershire in the Benson and Hedges Cup Final, while you have to go all the way back to 1989 for Nottinghamshire's last shot at silverware in St John's Wood.
Ahead of the final, which you can watch on Sky Sports 2 from 11am, Robert Croft - Glamorgan's head of spin bowling and assistant coach - and Sky Sports pundit Paul Allott give their views on how the contenders are shaping up... Check out our stats preview here
CROFTY: You never know how far you are going to go in this competition until you're a few of games in - and it's very difficult to get out of the group stage, let alone get to the final! But as the season has progressed the team's belief has grown and it was only halfway through the competition when several teams started to put out sides that weren't necessarily their first string that we realised that we still had a lot to play for.
It's been very much a team effort to get this far. Chris Cooke (500 runs at 41.66), Mark Wallace (435 runs at 39.54) and Jim Allenby (420 runs at 42) have had very good seasons with the bat but if you look back through all of the games that we've played, everybody within that batting unit has played an important knock at one stage or another. There was the 100 that Marcus North (381 runs at 38.10) scored at Lord's earlier on in the campaign, we've had terrific starts from Gareth Rees (189 runs at 31.50) in partnership with Wallace as well. We are lucky in the respect that we haven't been so reliant on one or two players. Everyone has put their hand up throughout the competition with our middle-lower order also making some vital contributions.
Our leading wicket-taker Michael Hogan (26 wickets at 16.88) is a guy who knows his game very well and breeds confidence in others; he's very comfortable with his role and sets a very good example to the younger players about how to go about your business and prepare for a match. From a coaching point of view he's very good to have around because he instils an air of confidence and calmness within the side, but he's also very, very low maintenance. He's been very good for us.
All of the coaches are very proud of what the lads have achieved to date but we have to put things into perspective and say 'we've reached the final and we're coming to Lord's to try to win it'. The supporters are very happy to have seen some high-intensity games back at Glamorgan, just as they did for a number of years in the 1990s and early 2000s. It's very important for the players too, because not everyone's tasted this standard and intensity of competition, so Lord's is a nice place for us to start the next few years from.
PAUL: It's hard to believe that a team like Nottinghamshire have had to wait for so long for success in a one-day final at Lord's - their last victory coming in 1989!
With Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann granted permission by England to play, they had a huge, huge quandary to solve about their team selection until leading wicket-taker Jake Ball was ruled out of the game with a back injury. Either could have come in for Riki Wessels, but it looked like they'd have to leave one of Ajmal Shahzad (19 wickets), Ball (19 wickets), Steven Mullaney (17 wickets) or Harry Gurney (17 wickets) out.
It's a huge disappointment for Ball (who was man-of-the-match in the semi-final win over Somerset) because he, like the rest of the guys in the squad, have done so well in the competition so far and deserved the chance to play at Lord's. Each bowler in Nottinghamshire's attack has been impressive in their own way through the tournament. Left-arm pace bowling is always an advantage in one-day cricket and Gurney adds a different dimension, while Mullaney varies his pace really well. But Shahad and Ball remain the leading wicket-takers and it would have been terribly hard to leave either out.
The final always used to be in times gone by a great opportunity to get that last place on the plane on the winter tour; I don't think it's got quite as much relevance now, but it is still a great opportunity to showcase the skills that you've got. James Taylor (563 runs at 80.42) has had a really top time of it, as has Alex Hales (473 runs at 36.38) - although by contrast he's had a desperate time in the County Championship. The rumour is that he might just be considering playing Twenty20 cricket in the future. Nottinghamshire's batting looks very strong with those two plus Michael Lumb (317 runs), Samit Patel (556 runs) and David Hussey (145 runs).
On paper Nottinghamshire are runaway favourites - but we said that about Hampshire when they played Glamorgan in the semi-final. So you can't take anything for granted in a one-day final but if I had to back one side, then I'd go for Notts.
Watch Glamorgan take on Nottinghamshire in the Yorkshire Bank 40 Final on Saturday from 11am on Sky Sports 2.