White-ball cricket continues in Nottingham this week, as Notts Outlaws complete their home fixtures in this summer’s Yorkshire Bank 40 with a match against Worcestershire Royals.
The Outlaws, who top Group A, go into the clash knowing that a win will seal their place in the competition’s semi-finals.
“It would be nice to finish off our home fixtures in this competition with a win, and along with it a semi final place,” said Outlaws batsman Riki Wessels.
“There’s still quite a bit to play for, and it’s a big game for us.”
“Reaching the YB40 final is something we all looked at after the disappointment of Thursday night, where we all genuinely believed that we had a chance of winning both white ball competitions this year.
“As it stands, we still have the opportunity in the YB40, to try and get to Lords and take our chance there.”
The Outlaws bounced back from the disappointment of losing to Essex in the FLt20 quarter-final with a convincing victory over second-placed Northants Steelbacks, and for Wessels, the performance displayed the side’s mental strength.
It was difficult for us, that’s three years in a row that we have lost in a quarter-final, it’s hard to take,” he said.
“It was nice to come back on Sunday and play a team who have been in good form with the white ball of late, we put the disappointment behind us and got a win.”
Wessels, alongside David Hussey, saw the Outlaws pass Northants’ target with seven overs remaining, but eagle-eyed fans may have noticed his bat was a little different to the norm.
"We can’t afford to take anything for granted tomorrow night." - Riki Wessels
“I broke my bat on Thursday night, so I didn’t have much of a choice but to use the long-handled Mongoose,” he said.
“I thought it was time to bring out the ‘half bat’ and use it for a bit of a slog.
“I was very happy with how it went, and I guess we’ll see it again soon.”
The fixture against Worcestershire will be a different prospect to that of Northants, with the Royals already out of contention for the competition’s semi-finals.
“It’s a different proposition for them,” said Wessels.
“You don’t want to use phrases like ‘playing for pride’, but they’ll be looking to go out there as a professional sports team and try and win the game, the same way that we do.
“No one goes out there to lose the game, so we can’t afford to take anything for granted tomorrow night.
“On paper, we are a better side than they are but we all know that doesn’t mean that we’re guaranteed a win. If we perform, and do all the aspects of our game in the way that we should, we’ll go out there and win the game.
“I think that all of us found out yesterday that 40 overs feels like a long time in the field after playing 20 over cricket,” added Wessels.
“We’ll rest for the rest of the day, and come in early tomorrow for a good hit ahead of the game, and prepare ourselves.
“It’s a matter of stepping away, getting it clear in your head what you want to do, then executing it.”
Notts Outlaws squad to face Worcestershire Royals (from): Alex Hales, Michael Lumb, James Taylor, Samit Patel, Riki Wessels, David Hussey, Chris Read (c), Steven Mullaney, Ajmal Shahzad, Jake Ball, Harry Gurney, Graeme White.
Play starts at 4.10pm for Notts Outlaws' clash against Worcestershire Royals on Tuesday 13 August. Gates will open at 2.40pm.
Tickets cost from £14 for adults, £8 for Juniors, £8 for Senior Citizens, £8 for Students and £36 for Family (2+2) when purchased before 4.30pm the day before the game.
On the day prices are £16 for Adults, £9 for Senior Citizens, £9 for Juniors, £9 for Students and £41 for Family (2+2).
BBC Radio Nottingham will be providing live ball-by-ball commentary from Trent Bridge on Tuesday. For a full list of BBC Radio Commentary click here.