Notts Outlaws return to the NatWest T20 Blast this Friday night, facing fifth-placed Durham Jets at the Emirates Durham ICG.
Luke Fletcher has been enjoying a T20 renaissance this season, returning to the Outlaws side and taking key wickets in their impressive victory over Yorkshire Vikings. Predictably, he’s happy to be back in the thick of the action.
“I’m loving it,” he said.
“It had been a few years since I’d played white ball cricket, so it’s great to be back playing and being around that squad.
“It was important to prove a point to everyone, from Mick Newell and the coaching staff, to the other players but most importantly to myself that I could do it.
“To be honest I’ve been overwhelmed with how the games have gone, and the reaction we’ve had.”
The resurgent Outlaws travel to Chester-le-Street for this weekend’s fixture, with the Durham Jets their next opposition. After their visit to Trent Bridge in May ended victorious, the Outlaws will be looking to ground the Jets in their home ground.
“Playing Durham is always difficult,” said Fletcher.
“It was important to prove a point to everyone," - Luke Fletcher
“It’s a big ground, the Emirates, it’s always windy, which we have to think about.
“They’ll have a little momentum, especially coming from their win over Yorkshire. It was another tight, low-scoring contest there.
“But we’ve been in good form too, and we’ll be looking to take that into the match.”
Notts Outlaws have been in excellent form of late, with three consecutive victories lifting them to third in the North division of the NatWest T20 Blast.
After a sluggish start, Fletcher insisted that the side were enjoying their cricket again.
“Everyone is much more relaxed now,” he said.
“Playing is a lot easier when you’re winning games.
“Everyone approaches it more positively, and everyone is doing their job.
“The batsmen are scoring runs, bowlers taking wickets and the catches are sticking.”
Nottinghamshire have been forced into one change from the side who beat Yorkshire at Trent Bridge in their last outing, Sam Wood returning to the team in place of Phil Jaques, whose short-term deal with the Outlaws ended this week.
This move will see Steven Mullaney join Alex Hales at the top of the order, a position Fletcher has seen him thrive, and expects to do so again.
“Jaquesy is a big loss, but Mull can do that job well,” he said.
“I played with him in the seconds against Yorkshire and he scored 100, and that was batting at number three in the order.
“He showed he was capable of batting across the order effectively. He’ll forge a good partnership with Hales.”
Notts Outlaws team to face Durham Jets: Alex Hales, Steven Mullaney, Riki Wessels, Samit Patel, James Taylor, James Franklin, Chris Read, Sam Wood, Ajmal Shahzad, Luke Fletcher, Harry Gurney.
Notts Outlaws NatWest T20 Blast fixture and ticket information:
v Leicestershire Foxes – Sunday 20 July 2.30pm BUY TICKETS
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