Fixture News | 29th May 2007
Bilal looking to break three figures
Bilal Shafayat claims Nottinghamshire’s excellent start to the season hasn’t surprised him - and that the return of Stephen Fleming will guarantee there’s no complacency in the squad.
LV County Championship Division Two
May 30-June 2: Leicestershire v Notts
Start time: 11am
Live scores by ECB
The 22-year-old has been a consistent performer at the top of the order so far this season with three half-centuries, without yet making a hundred.
That’s something he’s looking to change when he travels to Oakham School, where he is the only member of the squad to have played there in the past.
He said: “I was confident at the start of the season that the results would come if we played to our potential and that’s been the case so far.
“I’ve been pretty happy with my form because I feel I’ve been helping the team to win matches and while I keep on doing that I’ll be content.
“Of course I want to get a hundred under my belt, but I know I’m still learning and so long as I keep working hard I’ll be giving myself the best chance of reaching the milestone.
“I played at Oakham last year for Northants and got 66 in the second innings, so I’ve got some experience of the wicket.
“It’s a good pitch which stays pretty steady over four days and I’d say it will suit us more than Leicestershire, so hopefully we can get another win and complete the double over them.”
Bilal is looking forward to building a big partnership with Stephen Fleming in the middle and has already been impressed by what the experienced Kiwi has to offer.
He added: “It’s been great to have the skipper back. I’ve only experienced a little bit of what he’s like and I’m sure I can learn a lot from him.
“He’s a class act and has only strengthened the team since he’s arrived.”
Mick Newell keeps the same XI that demolished Essex last week inside three days, with Samit Patel and Rob Ferley also travelling down with the squad.
Gallian, Shafayat, Wagh, Fleming (capt), Hussey, Read (wkt), Ealham, Franks, Swann, Shreck, Footitt, Patel, Ferley.
Leicestershire squad news:
Leicestershire hand LV County Championship debuts to South African Kolpak signings Arno Jacobs and Garnett Kruger.
They strengthen a side that is still missing England seamer Stuart Broad, who will continue his rehabilitation from a knee injury in the hope of being ready for Sunday.
Jacobs, who made his first-class debut in the victory over Oxford UCCE last week, comes in to bolster the middle-order, while Kruger will lead the attack after taking the pace of Charl Langeveldt.
The decision not to rush back either Broad or fellow seamer David Masters (hernia) means there is another chance for Daniel Rowe.
Rowe scored 85 in Leicestershire’s last Championship game against Essex and then claimed the first five-wicket haul of his career against the Oxford students.
Broad, a former pupil of Oakham School, had been hoping to return for the Festival but Boon will give him further time to overcome the knee problem which flared up three weeks ago.
DDJ Robinson (Capt), TJ New, HD Ackerman, A Jacobs, PA Nixon (Wkt), J Allenby, Mansoor Amjad, CW Henderson, DT Rowe, NGE Walker, GJ Kruger, S Patel.
Looking back at Leicestershire v Notts by Peter Wynne-Thomas