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9th June 2023 T20 Blast

Durham looking to bounce back against Leicestershire Foxes

Durham are looking to bounce back tonight when they take on Leicestershire Foxes at the Upton Steel County Ground [6:30pm]

Following last night’s defeat to Notts Outlaws at Trent Bridge Durham will hoping they can get back on track as the North group of the T20 Blast continues to tighten.

Durham dropped from top spot to fourth place after defeat last night but with only two points separating 6th place Yorkshire Vikings and 1st place Notts Outlaws, there’s still lots of T20 cricket to be played and a win tonight could put Durham back on top spot.

An unchanged 14 player squad has been named by Durham Head Coach Ryan Campbell, in what is Durham’s final T20 game before the return of the County Championship on Sunday.

Words from Ollie Robinson

“We didn’t field very well in the powerplay and probably missed out on 20 runs in the field across their innings. Then again, at one stage they looked like getting 200, so to restrict them  to under 190, we were pretty happy with that. They got off  to a flier in the powerplay but Sowts (Nathan Sowter) and Rainey (Ben Raine) dragged it back in the middle, which we’ve done all year.“We just kept losing wickets at important times when we batted and probably losing two in the 10th over was a momentum shifter. Samit is a world-class spinner and Matt Carter is so clever with the fields he sets and how he bowls to those fields.“It was nice for Bas (de Leede) to get some runs, which hopefully will help him get his confidence up a bit and push on, because he is a quality player.  It was just one of those games where you needed someone to stick with him. If him and Trev (Liam Trevaskis) could have stuck together a bit and one of them take that short side down, we thought we would have a chance but unfortunately we didn’t quite get that momentum.”

Squad v Leicestershire Foxes [9th June]

Jonathan Bushnell, Graham Clark, Bas de Leede, Luke Doneathy, Brandon Glover, Michael Jones, Alex Lees, Wayne Parnell, Ben Raine, Luke Robinson, Ollie Robinson +, Nathan Sowter, Liam Trevaskis, Ashton Turner

Opposition Corner

Captain: Colin Ackermann

Overseas players: Naveen-ul-Haq (Afghanistan), Wiaan Mulder (South Africa)

Finals Day appearances: 5 (2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2011)

Titles: 3 (2004, 2006, 2011)

2022 finish: Sixth (North Group)

2022 leading runscorer: Colin Ackermann (367)

2022 leading wicket taker: Naveen-ul-Haq (24)

Key winter moves: The Foxes have lost all-rounder Ben Mike to Yorkshire but former Nottinghamshire batter Sol Budinger will bring explosive qualities to the power play, while the retention of Naveen-ul-Haq after 50 wickets in two seasons is a coup in itself. New batting coach James Taylor, meanwhile, knows what it takes to win the competition, having been part of the Foxes team that triumphed in 2011.

The big question: Can the Foxes overcome their habit of making stuttering starts and turn a decent, competitive Blast side on paper into one that can mount a proper tilt at the silverware? The Foxes were the dominant side in the early days of T20, taking to the format from the start and lifting the trophy twice in the first four years. Can they reach those heights again?

Wildcard watch: Naveen-ul-Haq – With 50 wickets in two Blast seasons his unorthodox but highly effective bowling, packed with devilishly hard-to-pick slower balls, even in high-pressure situations, has been a huge asset for the Foxes. He has yet to play in The Hundred, having turned down an opportunity last year because of international commitments. If he is available this year, a chance will surely come again.

Final thought: In left-arm spinner Callum Parkinson, leg-spinning all-rounder Rehan Ahmed and prolific wicket-taker Naveen-ul-Haq, the Foxes have three bowlers who would arguably walk into any other Blast side, with the potential for big runs from the likes of Colin Ackermann, Arron Lilley, Wiann Mulder and Rishi Patel. The time to realise their potential as a team is overdue.

Match Centre

The Club’s match centre will be in operation for the fixture with live scorecards, statistics & video highlights as they happen. You can watch the game live via Durham’s match centre and Leicestershire CCC  YouTube channel. Durham Cricket will have full coverage on social media, with a full match report at the close.

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