"I had a bit of a bee in my bonnet, to be honest with you…"
The tone of Nathan Sowter's voice suggests he might be being polite. Released by Middlesex after eight seasons at the end of last summer, the spinner has spent most of this one making a mockery of the county's call, first in a superb Blast campaign for Durham and now as a key cog in the Oval Invincibles side that has powered into Sunday's Hundred Final, where, for Sowter, a return to Lord's could be particularly sweet.
"I've still got a point to prove," he tells Standard Sport. "I've got one more game and it brings things full circle. It'd be nice to walk off there on Sunday with a trophy and a winners' medal. That's the motivation now."
Sowter's role across the first two editions of the Hundred was bit-part, but he has been backed from the outset this year, ever-present since taking a vital three for 34 in Oval's opening victory over London Spirit. Heading into this weekend's finale, only England's Adil Rashid has more wickets than Sowter's 10 among spinners.
"I haven't bowled my best, but I've still managed to get key wickets and impact games," he says. "You're playing against some of the best in the world and we've got a pretty good bowling line-up, so you're going to get targeted some nights. You've got to just blow that off and go again the next game."
Invincibles have had the luxury of a quiet week since securing top spot and a direct route into the final with victory over Trent Rockets on Monday, with Manchester Originals and Southern Brave to meet at the Kia Oval tomorrow to decide their opponents in the men's showpiece.
With a strong Surrey core, the club have gone into every Hundred to date among the fancied contenders but have flattered to deceive until now, with this their first foray into the knockout stage.
"I think we've just worked out the format a bit better," Sowter explains. "We struggled with it the first couple of years. This year we've been able to piece it all together, though we're still after the perfect game and hopefully that comes. Everyone's stood up, we've had numerous players put in big performances."
He's right. Oval's six group victories have seen six different men crowned player of the match, and they do not include England's Jason Roy and Sam Curran, nor Australian quick Spencer Johnson, who claimed figures of three for one in 20 balls on debut against Originals earlier this month.
It helps, too, to have Gus Atkinson "bowling absolute thunder-rockets", the quick clocked at 95mph earlier in the tournament and set for an international debut in next week's T20 series against New Zealand. The 25-year-old has been parachuted into England's World Cup squad and Sowter has no doubt he is ready to impact that tournament this autumn.
"He just runs in and bowls fast, learns fast as well, and that'll hold him in good stead," he says.