Nottinghamshire Head Coach Peter Moores is relishing the challenge that outground cricket brings as the Outlaws look to bounce back from their first defeat of the group stages.
The Outlaws face Durham in their penultimate group stage match at Grantham Cricket Club tomorrow (Friday) in a top of the table clash with their opponents sitting just two points behind them in third place.
After the ‘reality check’ of a defeat against Worcestershire, Moores has stressed the importance of moving on quickly ahead of the important outground outing.
“The game on Friday probably holds more significance after the result on Wednesday, but we haven’t become a bad team overnight,” said Moores.
“It’s a big game in the context of the group as Durham have gone well and are a good team.
“We will take the result against Worcestershire as a reality check, dust ourselves off and be ready for Friday.
“It’s important that we try not to lose any momentum or confidence from it and get back to playing good, confident cricket.
“The first job is to qualify, then try to book a home play-off spot and - if you are lucky enough - secure top spot and go straight through to the semi-final. That’s the ultimate goal.”
The Outlaws are no strangers to outground cricket following regular trips to Welbeck in recent years, where they have won three out of four completed matches.
Looking to continue their fine home record at grounds other than Trent Bridge, Moores is expecting a entertaining encounter at Gorse Lane.
“You aren’t as used to the surroundings, but you have to embrace it,” said Moores.
“You get good contact with the crowds, you don’t need as many people in the ground the make a good atmosphere and it all has a slightly different feel to it.
“I think the pitch will be good, we’ve have decent weather building up to the match and the T20 practice games we played there last year were fairly high scoring.
“There are challenges which come with it. Everything isn’t where you would normally have it. But you have to adapt quickly and go with it.
“We’ll look to play in the same vein, with an aggressive style of batting, and get the win on the board.”
Durham, who underwent a coaching overhaul in the winter with Marcus North and former Trent Bridge batsman James Franklin joining the Club, are flying high in the north group table, with Moores expecting the toughest of battles for the two points.
“They are a fresh team, with a fresh coaching set up and they will play energetic cricket,” said Moores.
“They play good cricket, they’ve always been a decent fielding side and they’ll come into the game relatively confident.
“Both sides will come into the game on the back of a loss and with a similar feeling of missing out in the last game.
“We’ve played a lot of good cricket this tournament and we’d expect to carry that into Friday.”
James Pattinson returns to the squad after resting for the trip to Worcestershire, whilst Alex Hales is in line to make his first appearance of the summer.
Following the Club’s statement on Hales on Wednesday evening, Moores is looking ahead to what the 30-year-old batsman will add to the team.
“The statement the Club released is obviously one I support and I hope now we can move on.
"Alex is a world-class player, and we hope he can turn in the performances we know he's capable of to to help us secure a knockout spot."
In other team news, Ben Slater continues to miss out through injury with Paul Coughlin joining him on that list after pulling up whilst sprinting a single against Worcestershire, and Ben Duckett on international duty.
Notts Outlaws squad to face Durham (from): Jake Ball, Matthew Carter, Zak Chappell, Joe Clarke, Alex Hales, Luke Fletcher, Lyndon James, Jake Libby, Tom Moores, Steven Mullaney (c), Chris Nash, Samit Patel, James Pattinson, Luke Wood.
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