With the entire group stages of the competition taking place over a five-week period, the importance of momentum in this year’s Royal London One Day cup cannot be overestimated.
And Notts Outlaws skipper Steven Mullaney is hoping his side can continue their fast start this Sunday as the Green and Golds head to Derby.
The Outlaws will make the short trip down the A52 with Friday’s nailbiter against Lancashire still fresh in the memory, after the hosts edged a thrilling contest by 11 runs.
And Mullaney admits it is important to get on a good run in the competition.
“With only eight games in the group stage, it’s important to get off to a good start so that you’re not relying on other people’s results” said the 32-year-old.
“We want to start the competition fast, so we can get out of the group on top and set up a home semi final.”
The headlines leading up to the Outlaws’ white-ball opener against Lancashire were dominated by the return of James Pattinson, and the Australian fast-bowler did not disappoint.
His figures of 5-61 were crucial in tipping a tight contest in favour of the home side, on a day when batsmen enjoyed the better of the conditions.
“Just to have him around as a bloke has been great, but he’s a world-class cricketer as well.
“I think we’ve got a good group of players through the squad, and if we perform to our maximum then we’ll be very tough to beat.”
Notts will be hoping to continue an enviable record against their nearest rivals, having not lost to them in List A cricket since 2004.
But Mullaney does not think there is a particular reason for this remarkable statistic.
“Sometimes you just get teams that you have good days against - I don’t think we could put our fingers on why we’ve been so successful against them.
“We’re aware of the threats that they can pose, but one thing we’ve done really well over the last few years is concentrate on our own games, and we’ll make sure we do that going into the game.”
Nottinghamshire have named an unchanged 14-man squad for the trip to Derbyshire.
Alex Hales has made himself unavailable for selection for personal reasons and no timetable has been set for his return to action, while Paul Coughlin remains absent with a finger injury.
Notts Outlaws 14-man squad to face Derbyshire: Jake Ball, Matthew Carter, Zak Chappell, Joe Clarke, Ben Duckett, Luke Fletcher, Jake Libby, Tom Moores, Steven Mullaney (c), Chris Nash, Samit Patel, James Pattinson, Ben Slater, Luke Wood.
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