Outlaws still pushing for quarter-final place
Featured News | 22nd June 2009
Mark Ealham admits Notts must find more consistency in their performances if they are to pick up a one-day trophy this season.
The Outlaws return to Twenty20 Cup action against Yorkshire Carnegie at Trent Bridge this evening knowing that nothing less than a win will do if they are to retain any hope of a third place finish in the North Division and a possible quarter-final place.
A run of four home games does at least offer the team the backing of the Notts faithful and Ealham hopes that can make the difference against a Yorkshire side he famously smashed for 95 off 31 balls in 2004.
He said: “Our white ball cricket has been up and down and we have had some poor games. Quarter-finals are about where we are at and we saw against Gloucestershire in the Friends Provident Trophy that when we get in trouble early on in our innings, it’s very difficult to pull it back.
“Clearly we need to look at the top order batting, and try and stop losing early wickets. If we can do that we will have a platform to make much bigger scores.”
Ealham has found himself coming in lower down the order in the two seasons, as Notts Director of Cricket Mick Newell has looked to give the likes of Graeme Swann and Paul Franks more opportunities with the bat.
But Ealham’s dangerous hitting ability and the free-scoring nature of the Twenty20 Cup means that the veteran could be called upon at any stage in the next four group games.
He said: “You have to accept moving down the order and helping the team to move forward and that does mean you have less opportunity to spend real time at the crease.
“I’d say in the Championship that eight is about right at the moment. But Mick has always said that in Twenty20 it’s just a number, not set in stone. Depending on the situation I might get asked to go in higher, and it would be nice to be able to make a big contribution again.”
Newell is expected to give Matt Wood a run in the first team following the 28-year-old’s recovery from an ankle problem, with Adam Voges having returned home to play for Australia A.
Kevin O’Brien is free to play following Ireland’s ICC World Twenty20 campaign, while Jason Brown’s off-spin is also an option if the wicket looks likely to offer turn.
Matt Wood, Will Jefferson, Ali Brown, Samit Patel, Kevin O’Brien, Chris Read (capt/wkt), Paul Franks, Mark Ealham, Andre Adams, Luke Fletcher, Darren Pattinson, Jason Brown.
Notts need four home wins to have any hope of a quarter-final place