Samit Patel is relishing the opportunity to set the tone with bat and ball as the Outlaws look to extend their T20 unbeaten run at Edgbaston tonight.
The stalwart all-rounder has taken 11 wickets and scored 204 runs in the competition to date, with his unbeaten 63 against Leicestershire his second 50+ score of the 2021 Vitality Blast.
“I always want to be positive with the bat, and I like to bowl the tough overs in the powerplay because I know I can do a job for the team,” he explained.
“I’m thrilled to bits with the way I’m being used at the minute. With the ball, I’m loving bowling the tough overs. Mull (Steven Mullaney) is using me outstandingly; I’m thriving off bowling the pressure overs towards the end, and setting the tone with the first over too.
“It’s a team game though; look at the way Calvin (Harrison) and Mull are bowling in the middle of the innings.
“We pride ourselves on getting the game back if teams have a good powerplay, and the fact that teams are finding it tough to get away from us is really good to see.”
Patel had Ben Slater for company during much of his innings against the Foxes, with the Outlaws T20 debutant hitting 48 from 31 balls.
And Patel was happy to single out his partner for praise.
“Ben’s knock will probably fly straight under the radar, but it was so important tonight,” said Patel, who shared a fourth-wicket stand of 99 with the 29-year-old.
“The way he controlled his innings and stayed calm under pressure was outstanding.
“It shows the talent we’ve got in our squad that someone can come in and perform like that. It’s a credit to the preparation the lads put in, and the mindset they have.”
The Outlaws are now unbeaten in eight twenty-over fixtures – a run which has taken them to the head of the Vitality Blast North Group.
Patel is a firm believer in the impetus that such a strong set of results can bring.
“Every win is crucial in this format,” he said.
“We talk about momentum all the time and thankfully we’ve got it at the minute, so we’ve got to hold on to it.
“It fills us with confidence heading into the next game. Birmingham are a good team, and we know we’ll have to play good cricket to beat them on their home patch, but hopefully we can out-skill them on the day.”
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