Fixture News | 3rd July 2007

Notts pushing for home quarter-final

Bilal Shafayat expects the Outlaws to push for two more victories to secure a home quarter-final in the Twenty20 Cup.

Twenty20 Cup North Group
July 4: Yorkshire Phoenix v Notts Outlaws
Start time: 5.30pm

The 22-year-old was on the losing side in last year's quarter-final against Northants when a record crowd in excess of 12,000 cheered Notts into Finals Day.

And after getting a taste of the Trent Bridge crowd's home support in the Outlaws' four-run victory over Yorkshire last Friday, Bilal is keen to have the home backing this time around, should they confirm their place in the knock-out stages.

He said: "Last year I was so focused on my performance with Northants that I didn't really notice the crowd and realise the effect they could have.

"But last week's crowd really made their voice heard and it's definitely a boost to your confidence and pushes you on that little bit further.

"It's a nice feeling and one I'd love to experience again with another quarter-final at Trent Bridge. That's our next aim and we'll take things on from there."

Bilal has been impressed with the changes and improvements in the Notts performances in the competition since he left Trent Bridge in 2004.

And the multi-talented batsman believes it's all come from clear thinking and planning before the tournament began.

He added: "We're playing smarter cricket now - good percentage cricket, which means taking better options at crucial stages.

"That all comes down from the management and the captain. Everyone knows what their role is and has practiced to perform those roles."

Squad news:
With AJ Harris still struggling with his left knee problem and Charlie Shreck's bruised shin, Mark Footitt is drafted into the squad to travel to Headingley.

Swann, Fleming (capt), Patel, Wagh, Hussey, Read (wkt), Ealham, Shafayat, Clough, Ferley, Francis, Franks, Footitt.

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