WHEN Gareth Breese knocked off the winning runs at Lord’s to clinch the Royal London One Day Cup, it sparked some major Durham celebrations.
In their latest column, Breese and G Force partner Gordon Muchall relive a day packed with nerves, anxiety and alcohol!
GM: What a day! The celebrations started afterwards in the changing room for a good few hours and a bit of a sing-song, then we headed back to the hotel and celebrated with fans and family. A few lads went into London and came in about 4am, but I just stopped in the hotel.
GB: It was a big celebration. We had a great time.
GM: You’ll have to ask Breesey about his celebrations – but let’s just say he was in bed by 8pm!
GB: Yes, but I was fresh as a daisy at 3am and raring to go! I’d had about seven hours sleep by then.
GM: It was all the apple rum you had. To be fair, you probably drank more than anyone in the time you were awake. And you were man-marking the trophy. Peaked way too early though.
GB: I was very anxious on Saturday. I couldn’t eat, and when you factor in the alcohol it wasn’t the best combination! I was very aware that it was my last one-day game for Durham.
GM: At the start, I think everyone was quite nervous and apprehensive to get going. But once you’re into the game you go on to auto pilot and Chris Rushworth and Paul Coughlin got us off to a flier, then all the bowlers came on and did the job. We knew at lunch we were definitely in the box seat and that it was ours to lose.
GB: I couldn’t eat anything at lunch I was that anxious, and anyone who knows what Lord’s lunches are like will be surprised at that!
GM: There was no special team meeting at lunch, no great speech or words. Jon Lewis was good like that, he just kept everything normal. People know what their jobs are. But the batting didn’t obviously go quite to plan.
GB: Small totals are never the easiest to chase down. In finals, big teams are never going to give up. The Warwickshire team put up a great fight and made us really work for our 165. That was the anxiety and it created a lot of nervous tension.
GM: It’s a lot harder being in the dressing room than it is out in the middle. Once I was dismissed, and Breesey and Stokesy were out there, it was hard to watch. I was as nervous as I had been all day. I was sat on the balcony, but Jon Lewis was pacing the dressing room and corridor, he couldn’t watch.
GB: When I was out there, it was probably the best I’d felt all day. It’s hard when you’re just watching, but when you get out there you know you’re either going to do it or not, and thankfully I was able to be there at the end.
GM: Steve Harmison had wrote in a benefit programme about how fitting it would be if Breesey got to Lord’s and hit the winning runs, so you could say that Harmy had some sort of vision!
GB: All the attention has been great, but I would have been just as happy if it had been someone else, as long as we won.
GM: I only got out so you could come in and be the hero!
GB: Haha. Stokesy’s celebrations when we got the winning runs showed how much it meant to the lads. We showed tremendous character to come back from losing three of our first four matches.
GM: I’d be lying if I didn’t say at one point I wasn’t sure if we’d do it, but we had such a good batting line-up, and it was such a relief when Gareth guided that ball to the boundary and the celebrations could start.
GB: I’d celebrated with Stokesy and then was looking around for the rest of the team, but they hadn’t come down yet, so I went and found my family.
It was great having them there. They come to a lot of home games, but it’s often difficult to make it to away games because of school and other stuff. But this was a big occasion and it was great they were there.
GM: It’s definitely the highlight of my career. Lots of good players don’t get to play in a Lord’s final so now that I have – and won – no one can take it away from me. It will stay with me forever.