Jimmy Adams says lifting the Clydesdale Bank 40 trophy at Lords as Hampshire skipper would be the highlight of his career.
After Saturday’s semi-final triumph over Sussex – and with the Friends Life t20 crown already secured – the Royals remain on course for a one-day double.
Adams helped guide the visitors over the line in the eight-wicket win at Hove.
But, in truth, the damage had been done long before the captain and Simon Katich teamed up to ease Hampshire home with seven overs to spare.
Replying to the hosts’ 219 for eight, opening partners Michael Carberry (68) and James Vince (58) blasted 129 off the first 13 overs to effectively end the contest.
Adams played in Hampshire’s Friends Provident Trophy final triumph in 2009 – also against Sussex – and admits the return to Lords on Saturday, September 15 could be even more special.
He said: ‘The first final at Lords was incredible – that’s still probably the ultimate highlight for me.
‘But ask me again if I’ve lifted the trophy at Lords in a couple of weeks and I’ll probably change my mind on that!’
He added: ‘At the start of the year we were just looking to get ourselves into the knockout stages – and you never know where it goes from there.
‘It’s been a great year for us so far. One big push and it could become an unbelievable year.
‘We still have a sniff in the four-dayers, too, so it’s been a great effort from the boys – if we’re still smiling in two weeks then that should be a very good sign.
‘We have come into a lot of the big games this season as underdogs but you concentrate on trying to do your skills.
‘We know we’ve got the guys who are capable of being match-winners and as a team there’s a belief we can do it, too.
‘The t20 weekend was fantastic and before the Sussex match there was a real buzz about the camp.
‘Even when we were under the pump there was still a good feel – the youngsters seem to revel in these situations and it makes us old guys’ jobs a bit easier.’
While Carberry and Vince will take the plaudits for Saturday’s win, Adams also paid tribute to the Royals’ bowling attack.
With the Sharks 159 for one and on course for a mammoth total, Sean Ervine led the way with three quick wickets – including that of centurion Luke Wright.
Adams said: ‘Halfway through their batting I was thinking it was going to be a long day. But the boys stuck at it and I thought our spinners bowled brilliantly.
‘I thought if we pegged them back to 240 it would have been a good effort – we got them back to 220 in the end!
‘The bowlers tipped the game our way and ensured we were coming off the field on a real high.
‘Then Vince and Carbs did such a great job. It was explosive batting and there’s nothing you can do as a skipper or a bowler when that happens.
‘It was incredible – you could see them taking the game away from Sussex so quickly.
‘After that start I was just walking out to bat thinking “don’t mess this up!”’