Birmingham Bears reached the 2017 NatWestT20Blast final by playing some thrilling cricket but Dominic Sibley makes no bones about it: “We can be better.”
The Bears reached their third Finals Day in four years after finishing third in the North Group and then pulling off a fantastic quarter-final win over Surrey. Roared on by the travelling Bears fans, who dominated The Oval on a memorable Friday night, they chased down 204 to book a Finals Day place at Edgbaston.
"We played some great T20 cricket at times and gave the fans something to cheer but we know we can be better. We can be more consistent and that’s what we have to be aiming for in 2018."
The Bears ultimately had to settle for runners-up spot to a Notts Outlaws side widely deemed the best T20 side in the country. But opening batsman Sibley reckons it was a great achievement by Birmingham to get so lose to lifting the trophy, even with plenty of room for improvement still in the locker.
“Getting to Finals Day last season was massive for us,” he said.
“We played some great T20 cricket at times and gave the fans something to cheer but we know we can be better. We can be more consistent and that’s what we have to be aiming for in 2018. We will be striving for the same, getting to Finals Day, only to go one better and win it.
“Finals Day was just brilliant, an amazing atmosphere. Playing in the final with so many Bears fans behind us is something I’ll never forget. It was just a shame that we couldn’t get over the line in the final, but fair play to Notts Outlaws, they are a very good side.”
Sibley played a big part in the Bears’ charge to Finals Day, averaging 31.83 with the bat in seven games after arriving from Surrey halfway through the group stage. His measured, polished batting at the top of the order provided the perfect counterpoint to the explosive batting of Ed Pollock and Adam Hose, while he also gives captain Grant Elliott another spin-bowling option.
Aged just 22, Sibley admits he has plenty still to learn but he can’t wait for next season to arrive with his objective to pile up runs in all formats for the Bears – and perhaps catch the eye of England’s selectors.
“Of course playing for England is my ambition as I guess it is for every county cricketer,” he said. “But the only way that’s going to happen is for me to score lots of runs, and hundreds in all formats, for Warwickshire so that’s all I am focusing on.”