Few people gave Derbyshire much chance of reaching the Vitality Blast quarter-finals - but the Falcons are flying high after booking their place in the last eight.
Three consecutive victories, one of them against previously unbeaten Lancashire Lightning, means they have qualified from a tough North Group and, depending on other results, will probably play Sussex at Hove.
It is a considerable achievement for a team that has played with only one overseas player after Australian fast bowlers Kane Richardson and Billy Stanlake had to withdraw.
It is a factor not lost on Derbyshire’s former captain and now Falcons T20 coach Dominic Cork, who said: “We’ve had times when perhaps we could have got a home quarter-final and little things went against us and we didn’t quite have that killer instinct.
“But I’ll go back to it, one overseas player, there are not many other teams who will qualify for the quarter-finals with one overseas player and not having some of the international quality most other teams have. If we have to play Sussex, they have seven international bowlers, never mind players, so if we have to take them on, we will take them on. You get a group of guys together, try and get a good team spirit, a good camaraderie and give it a go.
“Personally, it’s up there as a coach or someone who is just starting out as a coach, but also it’s tremendous for the group of guys who’ve worked their socks off. We’ve had some tough losses and we’ve had to take them on the chin when we haven’t played well.
“I would say it’s been a little bit like the England side in the World Cup when everyone criticised them when they lost to Sri Lanka because of the way they played.
“I still want us to go out there and be that dynamic team who it doesn’t matter who they come up against, whether it’s a team full of internationals or a side similar to us. I want them to express themselves and I couldn’t ask more from them.”
Cork also thanked the supporting cast who have helped Derbyshire qualify for the quarter-finals for the second time in three seasons.
“The backroom staff, you forget about them so this is for them as well, they work their socks off day in, day out, they are the unsung heroes and I’m pleased for them as well,” he said.