During a season which felt very different, Luke Wright’s form throughout the Vitality Blast gave us all a sense of normality.
To see the Sharks skipper lead his side from the front and bat brilliantly like he has done for so many years was a welcome distraction and a joy to watch from afar.
He rolled back the years to finish as Sussex’s leading run-scorer in the Blast, and the third highest in the entire tournament, with stunning performances against Hampshire the obvious highlights.
Against Surrey in the opening match, Wright – alongside Phil Salt – got the Sharks off to a flyer with 31 off 25 balls before rain saw the match abandoned.
The weather improved for El Clasicoast two days later, however, and Wright was able to spend an extended time at the crease in what was a thrilling run-chase.
Our south coast rivals set the Sharks 177 to win and after an 87-run opening stand, Wright accelerated even further to smash four sixes (and two windows!) on his way to 82 off 55 deliveries.
It was the skipper at his very best, and powered Sussex to a Clasicoast victory which was replicated at The Ageas Bowl ten days later - with Wright again the hero.
With no Salt, who was away with England, it was down to the captain to weather an early storm and propel his side towards as defendable target. He did just that, with aplomb.
Wright used all of his experience to score 83 off 59 balls, with seven fours and two sixes, and see the Sharks end on 159-5 – a target Hampshire fell 13 runs short of.
The batsman’s superb knock was his fourth half-century in his last six appearances in El Clasicoast, while he fell just short of further fifties this year when dismissed for 45 against Kent Spitfires and Surrey.
In total, the Sharks captain scored a fantastic 411 runs to end 12 runs behind top-scorer, Daniel Bell-Drummond and two behind second-placed Stevie Eskinazi, and led Sussex to a third Vitality Blast quarter-final in as many years.