Dominic Cork paid an emotional tribute to his father after forcing his side’s semi-final against Somerset into a six-ball shootout.
The Royals went on to lose the one-over eliminator by 11 runs but it was Cork’s brilliant 20th over that gave Hampshire a second bite of the cherry in the first place.
With the Taunton outfit needing one run from the last ball, Cork sought inspiration from his dad, who died just two weeks ago.
And the Hampshire skipper explained his muted celebration after James Vince ran out Peter Trego to tie the match.
‘I was just looking up to say thank you to my dad,’ said Cork.
‘I asked him to help me out with the last ball and he did.
‘But also I was trying to keep the guys calm.
‘You celebrate as if you’ve won but we hadn’t won, there was still a lot more work to do.
‘That’s part and parcel of being a captain in this form of the game – trying to calm them down.
‘But, obviously, I didn’t calm them down enough!’
It was a heartbreaking way for Cork’s troops to exit the tournament, with the Royals’ reign as domestic t20 champions coming to an end thanks to a dozen decisive deliveries following a rain-affected match.
But the 40-year-old all-rounder admitted it could have gone either way, admitting he thought his team were destined for the final.
‘Let’s face facts, in a super over anybody can win,’ said Cork, who once again vowed to leave a decision on his own future until the end of the season.
‘Somerset won this time.
‘Obviously, we’re disappointed to lose but I’m tremendously proud of all the cricketers who have represented Hampshire in t20 this year.
‘Unfortunately, with the weather and the calculations, it just made it a little bit more difficult for us.
‘But once you get to a super over you think that it’s fate – especially when you’re sharing the same dressing room as Leicestershire as well and they have just gone through on the super over.
‘But unfortunately that didn’t happen.’