Notts Outlaws are set for a pivotal weekend in their Friends Life t20 campaign with fixtures against Lancashire Lightning on Sunday, and Yorkshire Vikings on Friday.
The Outlaws fell foul of a fired-up Derbyshire and the weather in their 9-over outing on Tuesday night, and Steven Mullaney is keen to put the disappointment of the loss behind him.
“Ultimately, they played better than us on the night,” he said.
“The game being reduced to nine overs brought the sides closer together on paper, but they performed better than us and they deserved their victory.
“We don’t need to get hung up on the result on Tuesday night, we’re still in a good place and if we win both the remaining games well get a home quarter final.
Yorkshire have already failed to qualify for the knockout stages, the Outlaws brushing them aside at Headingley earlier in the season. Their position, however, doesn’t mean that a victory will be guaranteed.
“We can't take Yorkshire lightly because they’re out of the competition, if anything it makes them more dangerous,” said Mullaney.
“We need to be on our guard, because if we switch off for a couple of overs they could take the game away from us.
“We spoke a lot about a game being 120 individual events, and we need to win more of those than Yorkshire.”
The Outlaws will be forced into a change for this weekend’s fixtures, as James Taylor looks likely to be drafted into the England squad ahead of the third Investec Ashes Test. Riki Wessels looks set to return from injury and will be included in his place.
“Titch has been a vital cog in the wheel for us in this format of the game,” said Mullaney.
“We have to take more responsibility, which we haven’t done in the last couple of games.
“Every bowler comes into the game will be worth their weight in gold, we just need to work hard and put in what we’ve been practicing,” he added.
“We need to come into these crunch matches now and perform."
The Outlaws will qualify for a quarter final with victory over the Vikings, bringing them level on points and leap-frogging Lancashire at the top of the table by virtue of a higher run rate. A win against the Lightning at Trent Bridge this Sunday, and the ground would host a quarter final.
That would be massive for both the players and for the club in a financial sense,” said Mullaney.
“We pride ourselves on playing and winning here.
“Last year there were 12-14,000 people here for the quarter final and the place will be rocking,” he added.
“With that behind us, I’m sure we can go one further and make it to finals day.”
“The fans are your twelfth man, and we’re very privileged to have the support we get and hopefully they’ll come in and give everything they’ve got.”
Notts Outlaws squad to face Yorkshire Vikings (from): Alex Hales, Michael Lumb, Riki Wessels, Samit Patel, David Hussey, Chris Read, Steven Mullaney, Graeme White, Ian Butler, Ajmal Shahzad, Harry Gurney, Jake Ball, Sam Wood
Click here to purchase tickets for Notts Outlaws Friends Life t20 matches at Trent Bridge.
Notts Outlaws Friends Life t20 matches at Trent Bridge
Sunday 28 July Vs Lancashire Lightning - 2.40pm TICKETS
Buy In Advance & Save:
Adult tickets £13 / Under 16s and Over 65s £7 / Family ticket (2+2) £33
On the day prices:
Adult tickets £16 / Under 16s / Over 65s £16 / Family ticket (2+2) £40
Read our free Friends Life t20 Event Guide here.