Dan Christian is challenging his Outlaws outfit to embrace the big-match pressure that comes with the second half of the Vitality Blast group stages.

Notts have named a 14-man squad for the away fixture against Birmingham Bears, the first of two away trips this weekend.

Squad (from): Jake Ball, Matt Carter, Dan Christian (c), Joe Clarke, Ben Duckett, Luke Fletcher, Harry Gurney, Alex Hales, Jake Libby, Tom Moores, Chris Nash, Samit Patel, Imad Wasim, Luke Wood. 

Notts sit in third place in the North Group after half of their fixtures, having accrued seven points from three wins and an abandonment.

But with bottom-placed Derbyshire Falcons just two points away from the fourth quarter-final qualification berth, the skipper knows the group is likely to go down to the wire.

“We’ve not been bad so far, we’ve just been a touch inconsistent,” said Christian.

“We’ve done some really good things, and then some things that are unlike us and the way we’ve played in the last couple of years.

“Every game is a big game now, and as we get closer to the sharp end of the competition each game will have a little more pressure on it.

“We just need to keep improving in every game, and we’ll be fine by the business end.”

The Outlaws head to Edgbaston to face Birmingham Bears after suffering a narrow defeat at the hands of Lancashire Lightning last weekend.

Christian’s passionate dressing-room address in the aftermath of that defeat was featured in the latest episode of the behind-the-scenes documentary All In.

Having had a little more time to reflect, the all-rounder still feels that it was a game his side let slip from their grasp.

“We had that whole game on toast really, and weren’t able to nail it down,” conceded Christian.

“We came up against two really good players on the day in Dane Vilas and Glenn Maxwell, but 150 was still extremely gettable on that surface.

“It was disappointing, especially as we’ve got a lot of guys that know what it takes to get over the line in particular situations, but I still think that experience will stand us in good stead when things are starting to get tight.

“Players like Alex Hales, Samit Patel and Harry Gurney have all had a lot of success, and a lot of our guys were part of the team that won the Blast a couple of years ago, so we’ve got all the ingredients.

“We haven’t quite got it together in every game yet, but I think we’re really close.”

Christian has a new-look squad to lead this season after a number of high-profile additions were made over the winter, but he reserved particular praise for one player who has a more longstanding association with the green and golds.

“It’s been great to see how Matt Carter’s progressed,” he said.

“He came into the T20 side a bit at the end of last season and showed some good things, but he’s been brilliant this year for us.

“He could be really important for the rest of the tournament.”

The partisan Edgbaston crowd has been making headlines in recent weeks, with some proclaiming it as one of the most intimidating venues in world cricket ahead of England’s clash with Australia on the ground.

Christian’s countrymen had the last laugh on that occasion, and he is looking forward to following in their footsteps by sending the natives home unhappy this week.  

“It’s great to play in front of a nice loud crowd, whether they’re on your side or against you,” he said.

“It signifies the importance of the game if so many people are there, and I don’t think it will affect our team at all.”

Loud crowds have also been a firm fixture of T20 cricket at Trent Bridge once again this season, with over 12,000 witnessing clashes against Worcestershire and Birmingham, and 13,500 flocking to the midweek win over Northamptonshire Steelbacks.

And Christian is very grateful for the home support.

“To get twelve or thirteen thousand every game has been fantastic,” said the right-hander.

“It’s been a big summer of cricket with the World Cup and the Ashes, and there’s a lot of interest in the sport at the moment, so it’s brilliant that everyone’s coming out to get behind us."


There are three further opportunities to catch the Outlaws in T20 action at Trent Bridge this summer, with the next home game under the lights against Derbyshire Falcons on Friday 16 August.

Secure your seats….