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Hero Henderson earns Joyce praise

Skipper Ed Joyce hailed Tyron Henderson after the all-rounder steered Middlesex to a stunning Twenty20 Cup final victory over Kent at the Rose Bowl.

The South African kept his nerve in the final over to seal a three-run win in a match which went to the very last ball.

"Henderson's been so good that when they needed 16 off the final over, I didn't think they were going to get them. It was a classic," said Joyce.

Middlesex's win qualifies them for the Champions League and Stanford matches.

The Londoners, who have ended a 15-year spell without a trophy, will be competing for an estimated 2.5m in India and the Caribbean later this year.

But Joyce, the stand-in skipper in the absence of the injured Ed Smith, insisted the potential riches were not on the minds of the players.

He said: "We have been talking about the Champions League all season but we said we were going to play fearless cricket and, if we thought about bowling a certain ball or playing a certain shot, we were going to go out and do it.

"We were going to do it with no regrets and not think about the potential riches that lie ahead."

Joyce thought he had lost the match for his side when he dropped dangerman Justin Kemp at a vital point in Kent's reply to their 187-6.

"Fielding down there on the boundary where I was is right behind the lights," he said.

"When I dropped it, I thought it was going to be one of those where I've dropped the catch which has cost Middlesex their first final in so long.

"Those kind of things go through your head. You are kicking yourself for a while because someone like Kemp punishes you for those sort of things. Fortunately, it came right in the end."

The former England batsman added that skippering Middlesex to their first trophy win in 15 years was the peak of his county career to date.

"The number one personal highlight of my career would still be the hundred against Australia, but this is definitely my number one for Middlesex as I've been here ever since I came over [from Ireland]," said Joyce.

"Playing against England [in the Stanford Super Series game in Antigua in October] will be fun, as we've got quite a settled side and England don't play much Twenty20 and have changed their side around a lot.

"But I'm due to be getting married in mid-October and I'm supposed to be on honeymoon when the match is taking place, so I'll have to see if I can bring my future wife there as well!"

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