Three games to go, three victories required

The Steelbacks were too good for the Falcons, now they have to repeat it against the Rapids
The Steelbacks were too good for the Falcons, now they have to repeat it against the Rapids

This time last week the equation was four wins needed from four and now it’s three needed from three.

Last Friday’s excellent victory over the Derbyshire Falcons has kept the Steelbacks in the hunt for a top-four place in the North Group but they are well aware that no slip-ups can be afforded.

As things stand, Kyle Coetzer’s side are sixth in the table, three points behind tomorrow’s visitors the Worcestershire Rapids and Wednesday’s opponents Nottinghamshire Outlaws.

Should the Steelbacks lose and the Outlaws win their next game against Leicestershire Foxes on Sunday then the defence of the title will be dead in the water.

However, if the result is positive then there is still a chance a spot in the knockout stage can be secured.

And captain Coetzer is aware of what’s at stake, saying: “It’s obviously a big game and every game from now on in is.

“We showed some good signs last week, a fine fighting performance with the bat so if we can put both sides of the game together we’ll be tough to beat.

“We got a few things wrong in the field but for the firstime this season our batters got us out a hole.”

The Steelbacks were ordinary in their defeat at New Road in the first meeting between the teams as they were eased aside by five wickets and while Coetzer doesn’t reckon they will arrive with any tricks up their sleeves, he knows a more efficient countering of what they offer is a necessity.

He added: “They’re coming to our ground so that should give us the initial advantage but they’ve played some good cricket this season.

“We should expect similar to what they showed at their ground and it’s up to us to be a bit better than we were in that game.”

With regards to the team that takes to the field, there could be scope for small tweaks with Adam Rossington making a good case in the week to keep hold of the wicket-keeper’s gloves which would allow the batting to be bolstered.

But after picking up five points from there last three outings, it is more likely that nothing will be altered.

The trio of Steven Crook, Ben Duckett and Graeme White, none of whom played against Somerset this week, will come back into the fold for the clash.

And Coetzer, when asked about any possible changes, was definite in the answer he gave – “No.”

Steelbacks from: Coetzer, Levi, Willey, Rossington, Crook, Duckett, Spriegel, Middlebrook, Stone, White, Azharullah, Newton.