Skipper Alex Wakely stressed his pride in his Northants Steelbacks team after they suffered a gut-wrenching NatWest T20 Blast defeat to Lancashire Lightning.
The Steelbacks were beaten by 13 runs under the floodlights at Edgbaston, having earlier beaten holders Birmingham Bears in the semi-finals.
David Ripley’s men battled bravely in both games, with the loss to Lightning going down to the final over.
They couldn’t get over the line as the men from Old Trafford took the T20 silverware for the first time in their history.
But Wakely said: “I’m really proud of my team.
“We’ve come through some tough times with limited resources and a small squad.
“We seem to be punching above our weight, as people keep saying, because we stick together, know our game plans and we’re good friends off the pitch. That does help.”
As disappointed as he was to lose, the classy captain admitted his side had been beaten by the better outfit in the final.
He said: “When you get to a final at whatever level and lose it’s disappointing.
“To have it snatched away from you at the end is really frustrating.
“We played some really good cricket throughout this competition. We were entertaining but we came up short and that’s hard to take.
“We’re actually playing some really good cricket at the moment in all competitions.
“We’ve got some good, young players coming through and it would have been nice to lift that trophy, but Lancashire were the better team.
“We clawed it back after a tough start, but they were the better team in the final.”