Notts Outlaws continue their quest for the quarter-finals of the NatWest T20 Blast this evening, with an important clash against the Birmingham Bears at Edgbaston in prospect.
However, after their last two trips on the road have been washed out without a ball bowled, Chris Read is looking not only to continue the Outlaws’ winning streak, but at least get out into the middle.
“We’ve had a decent run of results in the t20 of late, when you take out the rain-affected fixtures, it ruined our trips to Worcester and Durham so it feels like we haven’t played a huge amount of T20 cricket recently,” said Read.
“The boys will be feeling reasonably fresh after a bit of a break and we know that to progress out of the group stages we need to be winning big games like tonight.
“Rain influencing games is frustrating, but that’s the life of a cricketer. Obviously when it’s a T20 and you’ve been on a bus for three hours then it’s a little more frustrating.
“Ultimately you cant control that, so for us it means another point in the bag and you move on and when you get the opportunity to win games, you have to take it.”
The Birmingham Bears found themselves victorious over the Outlaws in the fixture at Trent Bridge earlier in the season, after a match winning contribution from batsman Laurie Evans. They have been on the winning side of both matches in the LV= County Championship between Nottinghamshire and Warwickshire too, something that Read will look to change this evening.
“If they win against us in this match they’ll be there or thereabouts in the group, and they’ll have eyes on progressing out of it too,” he said.
“It’s a big game for both sides. We know a lot about them, we’ve played against them a lot in championship cricket and we played them earlier in the season at Trent Bridge and so far we’ve been on the wrong end of every one of those results and it would be nice to get one over them tonight.
“I think they will have, by their own admission, underperformed in the competition in recent years. You look at their lineup and there’s no reason why they shouldn’t have gone further through the competition in recent years.
“Certainly their bowling set up is in a good place, they have a very strong and stable seam attack and they probably have the best spinner in the country in Jeetan Patel.
“They’re well served in the bowling department, maybe they don’t have the same firepower in the batting department as some of the other counties but we know they’ll be dangerous.”
The Outlaws have named an unchanged squad from their abandoned trip to Chester-le-Street, which will see hot competition for places with Jake Ball’s return from injury continuing well. It will also offer the chance to see James Franklin in action for only the second time.
“It has been a continuation of the last six weeks of cricket, where all our batsmen seem to be in really good touch, hitting the ball nicely and striking it sweetly,” said Read.
“Everyone is enjoying time in the middle.
“James has been here for three games and played in one. Certainly he’s a very good striker of the ball, so he’s one of those players who, when they get in and is seeing the ball well, watch out in the crowd.
“He’s very cool, calm and unflappable really, so I’d imagine when it comes to those tense moments in matches like this, he’ll be a cool head for those people like James Taylor to seek out.”
Notts Outlaws squad to face Birmingham Bears (from): Alex Hales, Steven Mullaney, Riki Wessels, Samit Patel, James Taylor, James Franklin, Chris Read, Sam Wood, Ajmal Shahzad, Luke Fletcher, Harry Gurney, Jake Ball
Notts Outlaws NatWest T20 Blast fixture and ticket information:
v Leicestershire Foxes – Sunday 20 July 2.30pm BUY TICKETS
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