Notts prepare for must-win T20 clash against rivals

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Notts Outlaws travel the short distance to Grace Road on Friday evening knowing that survival in this season’s NatWest T20 Blast isn’t entirely within their own control.

The Outlaws face East Midlands rivals Leicestershire Foxes in their final match in the North group and nothing short of victory will suffice.

After an indifferent start to the campaign the Trent Bridge side were cut adrift but have bounced back in style in recent weeks and have won each of their last three matches.

Were they to make it a fourth win in a row, it still may not be enough to secure a quarter-final berth.

Captain James Taylor, fresh from his sensational innings of 291 in this week’s championship success over Sussex, knows the pressure to qualify is firmly on his side.

“The whole situation’s not ideal,” he said. “But we’ve got ourselves into this situation and hopefully we can get ourselves out of it by winning the fourth of what we knew would be four finals.

“That’s the way we’ve got to look at it and obviously it’s against one of our local rivals, so it’s a very big game for us but hopefully we can get over the line and make it four out of four. Then it depends on other results going our way as well.”

Notts will be hoping that either Northamptonshire Steelbacks, who host Durham Jets, or Lancashire Lightning, who are at Worcestershire Rapids, slip up at the final hurdle and gave Taylor and his side a backdoor route into the knock-out stages.

“We can only do what’s in our hands and that’s win our game on Friday,” said the 25-year old. “It’s a massive game for ourselves and for everyone else at the club and hopefully we can win it and get through to the quarter finals. The boys have got some great momentum behind us right now and we’ve got several individuals playing really well and starting to hit some good form at the right time.”

The Outlaws will also be looking for a little bit of payback after the Foxes won the Trent Bridge meeting earlier in the season. Harry Gurney, like Taylor, is a former Leicestershire player and he is looking forward to being able to reverse that result.

“After losing our home fixture to them we do need to go there and get one over them,” said Gurney.

“Grace Road will always be a special place for myself and Titch (James Taylor) and it always feels slightly weird going back but the main priority is to make sure we get the two points, otherwise we can’t qualify.”