Hoggard happy to rescue season
Leicestershire captain Matthew Hoggard hailed a wonderful day for the underdog at Edgbaston.
Last Updated: 28/08/11 3:08pm
Leicestershire captain Matthew Hoggard hailed a wonderful day for the underdog after his side upset the odds to claim the Friends Life t20 title at Edgbaston.
The Foxes went into Saturday's finals day as fourth favourites behind their semi-final opponents Lancashire as well as Southern Group rivals Somerset and Hampshire.
But, after seeing off the Red Rose in a one-over elimination following their tied match, they condemned Somerset to their third runners-up spot in as many years with an 18-run win.
Former England seamer Hoggard revelled in the efforts of a side who are rock bottom of the second division in the LV County Championship and above only Scotland in their Clydesdale Bank 40 group.
He said: "We are the underdogs, but there's no pressure on you then is there?
"You always say every dog has its day and the underdog has had its day here.
"It's the first final I've been involved in. To have both semi-finals finishing in a tie is unprecedented and you wouldn't have written a better script.
"We knew we had qualified for the Champions League after the semi-final anyway so we tried to relax against Somerset and said 'whatever happens in the final, it doesn't really matter'.
"We've been pretty dire this season apart from the t20 campaign, but we've sort of rescued it."
Leicestershire's win - built around scores of 33 and 35 from Abdul Razzaq and Will Jefferson and a man-of-the-match bowling display from part-timer Josh Cobb, who took four for 22 - also provided a fitting swansong for Paul Nixon.
The 40-year-old wicketkeeper was playing his final day of county cricket after announcing his retirement, but has already vowed to extend his career by a couple of weeks as the Foxes head to India for Champions League qualifying.
He produced a stunning one-handed catch to remove Somerset's overseas star Kieron Pollard for one and was the centre of attention in the joyous post-match celebrations.
"They say every fairytale needs a sprinkling of magic and that catch was the sprinkling of magic," said Hoggard.
"That he managed to dive full-length and take the catch showed that there's still life in the old dog and he was superb.
"It was like he'd taken a load of energy drinks all day. He was here the last time Leicestershire won in 2006 as well so he's quite happy."
Somerset captain Marcus Trescothick, the country's resident expert in giving runners-up press conferences after coming second in 2009 and 2010 as well as losing last year's CB40 final, tried to remain upbeat.
He will not be travelling to India for the Champions League games due to the stress-related illness that ended his England career, but admits it lessens the blow of yet another defeat.
"We'll come back, there's no doubt about it," he said.
"We'll keep being strong in what we do and we'll keep doing the hard work. Eventually we will get to the point where we win the trophy.
"The trip to India is a bit of a consolation prize to walk away with. The competition was fantastic the last time we went and the lads will be looking forward to it, no doubt."