A COUPLE of things tipped Tuesday’s Royal London play-off match in Surrey’s favour – Kumar Sangakkara’s century, which we didn’t have in our innings, and their bowlers were very impressive.

They set the standard we need to match, if not better, if we are going to beat them in the coming years.

We’ve still got a lot of work to do, especially with our skills bowling wise.

They nailed their slower balls, their yorkers and were clever with reverse swing.

Maybe we aren’t as canny and clever at doing that just yet. But we soon will be.

We have been working on our skills and getting better. We just need to work on them more and more, especially coming into T20 next month.

With slower balls, making sure your arm’s coming over at the same pace as your normal ball, things like that.

It will be very important because, in T20, there will be tight games where we have to hold our nerve, games where you need to keep the opposition to eight an over.

If you can win those tight games on the back of your skills, you’re going to have a good tournament.

Obviously we are very disappointed. But, going forward to next year’s one-day competition, there’s a lot of positives.

Although we accept there is improving to do, I believe Gary Ballance said he thinks we are a better one-day team now than we were at the end of last year. I think that’s a fair reflection.

It’s such a shame we didn’t get over the line against Surrey because, coupled with the Championship win against Somerset the day before, I think it could have been massive for our season.

We’d have had so much confidence, I could have seen us going all the way in everything.

But we can’t let that get us down now. I’m sure it won’t because our red ball squad looks unbelievable.

The bowling was outstanding at Somerset, really special. Ryan Sidebottom bowled so well.

Gaz and Pete Handscomb are scoring a hatful of runs.

Hopefully we don’t have too many injuries and I’m out of the team because there’s no way in at the minute with all the bowlers bowling the way they are.

I need to get back in that second team and take a few five-fors to be knocking on the door.

The finish at Taunton was certainly nerve-wracking.

They had two T20 dugouts just behind the boundary ropes, and me, Andrew Gale, Rich Pyrah, Kunwar Bansil, Ian Fisher and Jack Brooks were all sat down there for the last 50 runs. All our finger nails were off.

When we got that last wicket, we didn’t know what to do. We thought about running on, but we weren’t sure that was acceptable.

After that it was fairly subdued because we had to come back home and play against Surrey.

For a lot of the lads in that dressing room, it was probably the best first-class game they’ll ever be involved in. It was so entertaining to watch.

It was probably as close as you’ll get to Test cricket with all the ebb and flow and no one giving up. The fight, the heart and the pressure getting to players.

I was on the edge of my seat watching, that’s for sure.

I know there’s been a bit of talk about the schedule for us and Surrey playing Championship matches down south and then having to travel for such a big game the next day.

But every year there’s something wrong with it for someone. You’ve just got to get on with it.

The signing of Tom Kohler-Cadmore is a brilliant one.

I know Tom a little bit having had a couple of nights out with him, including watching the Aussie v South Africa T20, when I was in Adelaide over the winter.

He came for a week to see George Rhodes, who he played with at Worcestershire.

My brother Adam also plays with his brother Ben in the Combined Services team. They went across to Singapore before the season on tour.

Tom’s a brilliant bloke. He’s level-headed and sees this move as a help in his development. He will learn a lot from the likes of Pete, Gaz, Jonny, Rooty.

I know he’s got big aspirations and wants to play for England in all formats.

He’s come back to his home county and was set on the move all the time.

I think other clubs were in for him, but he never wanted to go to them. Even if they gave him a better offer, he was always coming here.

With a mentality like that, he’s going to help push this club forward. We’re delighted to have him.

* Gloucestershire have re-signed Yorkshire pace bowler Josh Shaw on a month’s loan.