Max wants Finals Day success

This season has seen Max Waller play in his 100th T20 game.

He achieved the landmark against Glamorgan, who coincidentally were the same opposition when he made his debut back in 2009, and during the match he claimed his 100th wicket.

When the leg spinner steps out onto the field at Edgbaston on Saturday he will no doubt have memories of the first Finals Day he played in, which was at the same venue in his debut year.

On that day Somerset also played Sussex, albeit in the final.

What does Max remember about the day?

“That was my first year on the staff,” he said. “It was a great experience for me, but sadly we lost at the end of it. That was really disappointing after such a successful campaign. Hopefully this year we can put that right and bring home the trophy which is what we all want to do.”

“This year we have been very consistent in the Vitality Blast and had a good run of victories. That breeds confidence. We’ve got a good batting line up and a strong bowling attack.”

During any T20 match the leg spinner has got a maximum of 24 balls to bowl so how does he approach it?

“You don’t have too much time to make anything happen,” he said. “I’ve spent most of my career playing the short format of the game and I’m fairly experienced at what I’m trying to do. I’ve got a good understanding of what my role is within the side. It certainly helps to breed confidence when everyone knows what their role is and that’s what every successful side does.”

Regarding notching up a century of wickets in T20 Max said: “There are not too many with over 100, especially playing domestic cricket in England, so I guess I’ve done alright through the years. I’m very clear what it is I’m doing in this format and the wickets look after themselves.”

Over the years Max has become known as a T20 specialist, but is this how he sees himself?

“I think I have more to offer than just T20, and I’d like to play more white-ball cricket in the 50-over competition. I’m known as a T20 player and my record in that format is better than in the other white ball competition, so I can understand why people might suggest that.”

Max always seems to be involved in any T20 match and wherever he is, the action seems to follow him.

“If you field in key positions the ball gets to you a lot,” he said. “I think fielding is a big part of my game. I really enjoy it and I like to think that it shows.”

Over the years Max has become a very firm favourite with the Somerset crowds, so how much does it help to have the supporters right behind him when he is bowling?

“The crowds have been really good this year and it just shows how passionate the supporters are in following Somerset. The home quarter-final just showed how they really got behind us. The Somerset fans are great to play in front of and that’s what all professional sportsmen want.”

Max first appeared on the Somerset scene because Marcus Trescothick wanted a leg spinner to bowl at him in the nets. Did he ever think that he would end up doing what he is now?

“I think I played a bit of Second XI cricket in 2006,” said Max. “I was always very keen to get involved here even when I wasn’t on the staff. I practiced with the guys a lot and was always hungry to play professional cricket. Then I got the opportunity and took it. 11 years later I’m really happy with how things have worked out for me.”

Looking to the future Max said: “I’ve been doing what I’ve been for a long time now, so everybody knows what I can do and I’ve have proved myself over a long time.

“I really enjoy playing for Somerset because it’s a top club. I can’t wait to step out onto the pitch at Edgbaston and hopefully help us win the Vitality Blast trophy on Saturday.”

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