Recordo Gordon: Warwickshire bowler having a Blast in Twenty 20
Birmingham Bears have not been short of matchwinners so far this summer in their defence of the T20 Blast trophy.
Brendon McCullum's record-breaking 158 not out on his home debut against Derbyshire at Edgbaston leads the way.
Ian Bell, William Porterfield, Rikki Clarke and Tim Ambrose have all played key roles at big moments too, but none have been as consistent as the unsung 'death bowler' Recordo Gordon.
"To see senior players play like that fills me with confidence," he said.
"It really encourages you to go out there and try to emulate them. To play alongside people like Brendon McCullum, Ian Bell, Jonathan Trott and Rikki Clarke and mix with them is inspiring. The secret is not to let it overwhelm you.
"The senior guys lead from the front, like Rikki Clarke did with bat and ball at Leicester last week. To bowl four overs for 10 runs in T20 is very impressive.
|Gordon has taken 17 wickets at 15.71 apiece at an economy rate of 7.52 per over in his nine matches this season. Apart from his match-sealing 3-18 against Worcestershire, he also starred with 3-30 against Yorkshire and on a bigger stage when he upstaged Brendon McCullum on his Bears debut, taking 4-20 in the televised win over Lancashire at Old Trafford.|
"We've got so many players who can chip in. Teams looks at us and see Jeetan Patel as the main bowler, and he has done brilliantly for us again, but this year Olly Hannon-Dalby has also come in and done really well.
"With the bat, Will Porterfield has been brilliant and now we have Brendon, and we are in a much better position in the group than we were at this stage last year."
Having "burgled their way" into the quarter-finals a year ago, the Bears go into Friday evening's derby with Worcestershire knowing their local rivals may be the only team capable of stopping them finishing top of North Group.
A repeat of the 18-run win the table-topping Bears enjoyed at Edgbaston on 22 May, when Gordon starred with 3-18, would send the Bears four points clear again with only three games to play.
Gordon missed out on Finals Day last year, despite playing in five of the group games and taking the key wickets of Jesse Ryder and Ravi Bopara in the quarter-final win over Essex at Chelmsford.
And the Jamaica-born, Birmingham-bred Gordon, who has only played six first-class matches for Warwickshire, is happy to be a regular in the side this summer.
"I'm proud to be a professional cricketer. I just want to enjoy every moment," he said. "I like to play with a smile on my face because that's the way I am."