Fired-up Willey has the final say to seal memorable Twenty20 triumph for Steelbacks at Edgbaston

Northamptonshire all-rounder David Willey revealed a heated on-field exchange with Jade Dernbach inspired his match-winning heroics in the Friends Life t20 final against Surrey at Edgbaston.


Willey, pictured above celebrating the wicket of Surrey’s Jason Roy, produced one of the most complete Twenty20 performances in the decade-long history of the event as he followed the fastest half-century in this year’s tournament with figures of 4-9 – including a hat-trick – for the Steelbacks’ first major title in 21 years.

A direct-hit run-out from long on and a catch on the ropes completed a “once in a lifetime” night the 23-year-old claimed was mostly engineered by his clash with Dernbach.

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Asked what was the key to his performance, Willey said: “Him. I’m a bit of a strange one. Sometimes I don’t enjoy it (a verbal battle) too much and I just like to be quiet and not get involved.

“Other times it gets me going and it got me fired up nicely here.

“The adrenaline got going after a few words were exchanged with him and it went from there.”

Willey was only promoted to open the batting after Kyle Coetzer injured his wrist in the semi-final win over Essex but blasted 60 from 27 balls while reserving his hardest hitting for Dernbach – whose figures of 0-55 were the second most expensive on a finals day.

“I quite enjoyed clearing my front leg and whacking him to be honest,” he said.

“I don’t think he enjoyed it so much as he seemed to think I was a slogging something-or-other, which is probably pretty accurate.

“But it was in the heat of the moment. Me and Jade get on really well – it was a bit of banter in the middle and I thoroughly enjoyed it.”

Northamptonshire – who had had won just three of their previous 22 T20 matches before this season –reached the final after a seven-wicket win over Essex.

Surrey got through after a four-wicket win against defending champions Hampshire.