Michael Carberry explained how the team’s victory meant more to him than his maiden t20 century that fired Hampshire into a fourth straight finals day.
The left-hander struck a sensational 100 not out, grabbing the two runs to bring up three figures off the final delivery of the Royals’ mighty innings of 202 for three.
And that extra run – when he should really have been run out going back for a second – ultimately proved the difference between the sides as Lancashire fell just one short in a remarkable chase.
While Carberry revealed he had achieved a cricketing dream, he felt the win was of more significance than his own personal triumph.
He said: ‘It’s satisfying for me to get a century.
‘It’s something I have always dreamed about in t20 cricket.
‘A lot of hard work has gone into my t20 game and it’s nice that it’s starting to come together.
‘It wasn’t easy to get Mitchell McClenaghan away in that final over.
‘But had I finished up on 98 or 99 and we had got through, I would have been equally as happy.
‘On a personal note, you want to score hundreds but this was about winning the game and doing the best job you can for the team.’
With Liam Dawson cajoling him to get his century, Carberry had to rely on a slice of good fortune as he raced for his ground – made even more remarkable after he picked up a foot injury in net practice the day before the game.
He smiled: ‘I suppose it was either going to happen or it wasn’t.
‘Daws said “come on mate, get something on it and we’re coming back for two”.
‘So I touched down and literally put my head down and the legs got me there with a dive.
‘Then I just remembered the crowd yelling. It was a great feeling.
‘I just saw the line and tried to get there as quickly as I could.
‘The day before, I was in the nets and hit a ball into my foot.
‘It swelled up so I got some ice on it but it was precautionary and it was not going to stop me from playing.’
While the Royals were heavy favourites at the midway point, Lancashire turned in their own batting masterclass – something Carberry always felt could happen.
He said: ‘We knew Lancashire were dangerous and they made a really, really good fist of it.
‘They kept themselves in the hunt all the way.
‘But we are just pleased to get over the line and make it to finals day again.’
Carberry is now hopeful the Royals can complete a successful defence of their crown as a fitting tribute to retiring skipper Dimi Mascarenhas.
The batsman said: ‘It would be a very nice touch to cap off Dimi’s career.
‘He has been a fantastic ambassador and he will be missed when he leaves.
‘I have played seven years with him and we’ve shared some good and bad times.
‘But to win this for him would be a magnificent way to send him off.’