Riki Wessels has fond memories of the last time Derbyshire Falcons visited Trent Bridge for a T20 fixture.
Wessels became the first person to score a century for the Outlaws with his innings of 110 in July last year in a high scoring local derby.
Notts recorded their highest ever T20 total with 227 before the Falcons hit back with their own record score, falling five runs short on 222 thanks to Wayne Madsen’s unbeaten 86*.
Now Wessels is looking to emulate his performance from 12 months ago in this year’s encounter tomorrow (August 2).
“I wouldn’t be shy of trying to do that again tomorrow night but that was a very special day,” he said.
“Derby is always a big game and always one we look to win.
“It’s a big game for us as a club and as players so we’re trying to come out here and play the best brand of cricket we can possibly do."
The Outlaws' inconsistent Vitality Blast campaign so far can be summed up by their last two outings.
Firstly, they dispatched league leaders Lancashire at home by 16 runs (DLS) in a victory that was set up by career best T20 scores from Jake Libby and Billy Root before Ish Sodhi chipped in with figures of 2-17.
But the next day against Durham the Green and Golds struggled to get going, posting a measly 132 in tough conditions at the Emirates Riverside.
The Jets knocked off their target with 19 balls to spare leaving Notts just outside the qualifying places.
But despite the varying results so far this season, Wessels knows that the squad is motivated to string a consistent run together.
“We go out and we try to win every game, that won’t change,” he said.
“Whether it’s eight games to go or ten games to go – we go out there and we want to win every game of cricket.
“We don’t like losing as a team, this year probably a bit more than the last few years. We’re going to go out there to win the game and all six games that are left, and try to find the best possible performance we can.
“It’s not always easy but as a squad it’s tough losing and losing the way we have done so hopefully come tomorrow night we can turn that around and win six on the trot.”
Wessels himself has had a tough start to the T20 games by his free scoring standards, with this only fifty coming in the defeat to Leicestershire at Trent Bridge earlier this month.
But after a season of change at the top of the order he is looking to kick on in the remaining group games.
“We’ve been trying to find an opening combination this year and I’ve looked to take on the mantle of trying to clear the ropes early to get us through the powerplay with as good of a foundation as possible,” he said.
“It’s always nice when somebody goes with you, it takes that pressure and that edge off but its more the disappointment in myself that I’ve not been able to kick on, where in the years gone by I probably have done, to get that 70 or 80 which is probably a match winning score in T20 cricket.
“30s and 40s are nice and it’s useful at the start of the innings but you’ve got to keep going.”
In terms of tomorrow’s game, Notts certainly have the rub of the green over their local rivals winning eight of the last eleven meetings between the sides and whilst that could give the home side a psychological edge over their opponents, Wessels believes that they can’t afford to underestimate the visitors.
“It’s always nice to have that over them but every game in T20 is different and it throws something new at you," he said.
“For us its remembering that we’ve done that, but we need to park it away and come out with a fresh plan to win the game.”
“They’ve got a lot of bowling depth this year with their overseas and kolpak players - they’ve brought in some good bowlers with a bit more experience than they’ve had in the past which has probably helped their local, younger bowlers coming through have some confidence.
“On the batting front they’re experienced as well so they’ve got a good, balanced side but I like to think that we are too and hopefully tomorrow night we come out on top with a special performance.
Trent Bridge has already seen some stand out crowds so far this season with consistent attendances over 10,000 for each home T20.
Tomorrow is set to be no different and Wessels is hoping to make that home advantage count.
“Something we’ve really enjoyed doing is playing at home,” he said.
“We came off at the start and the back end of the Royal London so hopefully with that win the other night against Lancashire we’ve acclimatised to home conditions a bit more, and we’re prepared to knuckle in and win the games at home that we should be winning.
“Tomorrow night is a big game and it’s the start of three final home games and we’ll try and win all three of those for a start.”
The Outlaws will again be without Chris Nash who will miss the next two weeks of action as he continues his recovery from a damaged acromioclavicular joint in his right shoulder.
Meanwhile, Alex Hales continues to recover from the side strain he picked up on England duty, with a date for his return not yet set.
Notts Outlaws squad to face Derbyshire Falcons (from): Jake Libby, Steven Mullaney, Riki Wessels, Harry Gurney, Luke Fletcher, Samit Patel, Tom Moores, Jake Ball, Paul Coughlin, Will Fraine, Dan Christian, Ish Sodhi and Billy Root.
It's Derby time! Notts Outlaws play local rivals Derbyshire Falcons under the lights of Trent Bridge on Thursday August 2 in the T20 Vitality Blast, from 6.30pm. Secure your seats here...