Durham Jets captain Tom Latham believes his side have already exceeded everyone’s expectations to reach the T20 Blast quarter-finals.
The Jets will host the Sussex Sharks on Friday night, with a bumper crowd of over 8,000 fans expected at the Emirates Riverside Cricket Ground.
The two sides will battle it out for a place at next month’s Finals Days in Edgbaston on September 15 - a date Latham is targeting.
“It’s a massive goal of ours,” said the New Zealander. “I think we’ve probably exceeded everyone's expectations in this competition so far, and it’s been playing a brand of cricket that we know and have been sticking too.
“It’s a quarter-final but we’ve got to treat it as another game tomorrow and do what we’ve been doing all season.”
After finishing second in the North Group, Durham secured a first T20 quarter-final on home turf since they faced Glamorgan in 2008.
This will be the first time Durham have met Sussex in a T20 match, and Latham believes the crowd can play a huge part.
“It’s always nice playing in front of your home fans and they’ve tended to come out in numbers this summer, which has been really important for us. Hopefully we can get another crowd like that tomorrow.
“It’s been a great competition, it’s always a good competition over here,” he added.
“The crowds come out and get behind you which is good and it’s nice that we’ve managed to be in a position where we’re in the quarter-finals, considering the results that went our way last year.”
Durham finished bottom of the nine-team North Group in 2017 - so what has changed this campaign?
“I think momentum is a massive thing in this competition,” said Latham.
“We managed to win a couple of our first games and we got on a little bit of a role.
“We’ve been sticking to our plans that we do really well and our guys have been doing their roles which is important.”
Sussex, who finished third in the South Group, boast one of the best bowling attacks in the competition - labelled ‘The Shark Attack’.
Even so, Latham believes his side are ready for the challenge.
“We know the pace attack that they have and they’ve got some quality guys in their line-up.
“It’s about trying to counteract their pace. Everyone’s going to have their own plans that they stick to and hopefully they can come off tomorrow.”