Notts Outlaws will be treating their final Royal London One Day Cup group game against Northamptonshire as a dry run for the knockout stages of the competition, according to wicketkeeper Tom Moores.
The Outlaws go into the game on top of the North Group and already assured of a place in the play offs, but a win would send the Green and Golds straight through to a semi-final at Trent Bridge.
“We’ve got a lot to play for, and we know that if we win the game nobody can catch us,” said Moores.
“We’re going to do everything we can to make sure we get that home semi-final, so we’ll be treating the game as a dress rehearsal for those knockout stages.”
Notts have had their momentum checked over the past week, after a run of five consecutive white-ball wins was ended by a five-wicket defeat at Worcestershire.
The abandonment of the next game against Durham at Grantham then denied Steven Mullaney’s side the chance to bounce straight back.
But Moores is adamant that this has not harmed the spirits in the dressing room.
“The game at New Road was a bit of a blip – we didn’t perform on the day, but sometimes that happens," he said.
“Then it was frustrating not to be able to get on the field at Grantham, but we’ve been lucky with the weather in general so far this season, so you’ve just got to accept that you can’t control that and move on.
“We’ve still got five wins under our belts, the lads are still in high spirits, and we’ve been playing great cricket, so we’ll be doing everything we can to bounce back on Monday.”
The 22-year-old’s uncompromising approach to middle-order batting has been a key part of Notts’ run so far in the competition, hitting 196 runs at an average of 39.20.
Moores has also hit more sixes than anybody else in the competition so far, his mark of 17 maximums being four ahead of Lancashire's Dane Vilas at the conclusion of Saturday's round of fixtures.
But the right-hander has not deliberately been trying to take a more aggressive approach.
“I don’t consciously go for big hitting, it’s just part of my natural game to hit the ball hard and score quickly, and it’s great that it’s been paying off lately," he said.
“I feel like my game’s in a good spot.”
Northamptonshire will be entering their final group game with hopes of qualifying for the knockout stages having long since receded.
The Steelbacks have also been shorn of one of their dangermen after West Indies captain Jason Holder's stint with the county ended, but Moores is keeping an open mind on who the key performers could be for the hosts.
“I don’t really think about specific players within the opposition," said Moores.
“Anybody can step up on their day and challenge us, it’s just up to us to do what we can to take the game to them.”
Notts Outlaws squad to face Northants (from): Jake Ball, Matthew Carter, Zak Chappell, Joe Clarke, Ben Duckett, Alex Hales, Luke Fletcher, Jake Libby, Tom Moores, Steven Mullaney (c), Chris Nash, Samit Patel, James Pattinson, Luke Wood.
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