Fixture News | 17th May 2007

Scots game a 'must win', says Ealham

Mark Ealham expects Notts to get straight back into the swing of things when they take on Scotland this weekend - and insists the Outlaws won’t be taking the opposition lightly.

Friends Provident Trophy North Conference
May 20: Scottish Saltires v Notts Outlaws
Start time: 10.45am

Notts go into the match knowing they can ill-afford to lose any ground on the North Conference leaders Warwickshire, and although Scotland have lost their opening three games, two have gone down to the last ball.

Rain meant that Notts missed out on a chance to leapfrog Warwickshire and claim top-spot in the table, and Ealham believes the scenario to qualify for the semi-finals is now simple.

He said: “We have to look to win all our remaining games if we want to finish in the top two.

“Beating Warwickshire would have put us in a good position and even though we shared a point each, washouts tend to put you behind the eight ball.

“All we can do now is win all the fixtures that are put in front of us, starting with Scotland, and we know that won’t be an easy task.

“They’ve done well in the past few years and have steadily improved as a team. They and Ireland are both trying to put themselves on the map in cricket and can’t be underestimated.”

Ealham played for Notts in Edinburgh in 2004, when the match was also affected by rain, and the 37-year-old expects a tough contest.

“The pitch is a little slow, which tends to lead to close games with scores around 230,” he added.

“You expect it to rain a bit, particularly early in the season, so we can’t go there looking for a flat belter where we can smash 300.

“Hopefully it will suit me with some little seamers, but we’ll need to keep our focus and apply ourselves sensibly.”

Injury news:
Will Jefferson’s hopes of proving his fitness with the Second XI this week were frustrated by rain, but the opener is still included in the squad of 13 travelling to Edinburgh.

Squad:
Gallian, Shafayat, Wagh, Hussey (capt), Patel, Read (wkt), Ealham, Swann, Clough, Sidebottom, Shreck, Jefferson, Ferley. 

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