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Lumb Eyes More Aggressive, Exciting Cricket Against Steelbacks

Opening batsman Michael Lumb returned to the Outlaws side on Sunday, reuniting with fellow England man Alex Hales at the top of the order.

Next in the their sights are the Northants Steelbacks, the only side the NatWest T20 Blast North Group that they are yet to face.

"We’ve been there in the past, and we know a little about them from playing them in four-day cricket,” said Lumb. 

“They won the tournament last year, and have some good cricketers. They know what they’re doing, but we’re playing good cricket at the moment. It’ll be a good test for us.”

The Steelbacks currently occupy sixth position in the NatWest T20 Blast North Group, and their hopes of qualification for the competitions are incredibly slim – needing to win their two remaining matches, relying on results elsewhere while drastically increasing their run rate. 

“Generally those teams who are out of a competition offer a bigger threat, they’re under a little less pressure,” said Lumb.

“Northants are in an interesting position at the moment, and we have to make sure we take the same confidence we showed at the weekend into it.”

Lumb has returned to the fold following four weeks out of the side due to a tendon injury in his arm. After making his LV= County Championship comeback in Nottinghamshire’s victory over Lancashire in Liverpool, he returned to the T20 team last weekend in the Outlaws’ victory over Leicestershire.

“It’s great to be back. It felt like a long time to be sat on the sidelines,” he said.

“Everyone is now in a good place, we’re competing where we want to be and it was a good, easy process to come back into the side.”

Nottinghamshire have been in fine form across all formats in recent weeks, with the Outlaws unbeaten in T20 cricket in seven matches. When earlier in the competition three back-to-back defeats at Trent Bridge saw hopes of final’s day plummet, the side are now on the brink of securing a home quarter-final.

“The upturn hass come from playing to our potential, and getting the formula right,” said Lumb.

“We’ve been able to paly some aggressive, exciting cricket. With so many games in the competition we had the chance to turn it around, and we did.

“We were able to change things slightly, pick up points and put ourselves in the frame for the knockout matches. 

“I think we’re lucky to be playing our cricket at Trent Bridge. We have a great following, and the boys love playing here.

“The quarter finals have been a problem for a couple of years now, it’s been a problem but this year it’s time we got over the line and made it to final’s day.”

 

Notts Outlaws squad to face Northants Steelbacks (from): Alex Hales, Michael Lumb, Riki Wessels, Samit Patel, James Taylor, James Franklin, Chris Read, Steven Mullaney, Sam Wood, Ajmal Shahzad, Luke Fletcher, Harry Gurney, Jake Ball.