The Steelbacks make the short trip up the M1 to take on East Midlands rivals, Leicestershire Foxes in the Royal London One-Day Cup today.
Both teams have struggled in the competition so far having only won three games out of nine between them. Although a win for the Steelbacks will see them move above Leicestershire in the table and closer to a quarter-final spot.
The Steelbacks’ last game saw them travel down south to Southampton to take on Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl. The hosts won the toss and elected to bat first, which seemed to be a good decision as the openers put on 45 runs for the first wicket. Although there was the odd wicket falling, Hampshire would have been comfortable halfway through the 37th over, with the score on 189/3.
However the wheels then started to fall off, as they lost three wickets for only seven runs. When the seventh wicket fell with the score on 223, this signalled the end for Hampshire as they were eventually bowled out for 249. Muhammad Azhar Ullah was easily the pick of the Steelbacks bowlers, as he recorded career best List A figures of 5 for 38.
Unfortunately for the visitors though, the rain started falling during the interval and led to the abandonment of the game. This was a big disappointment for the Steelbacks, as they looked well on top, but only came away with one point.
Leicestershire’s last game saw them host Yorkshire in what was a rain affected thriller. The visitors won the toss and elected to field, a decision that looked inspired as their bowlers limited the hosts to just 236/8 from their 50 overs, despite an excellent 74 from Matthew Boyce.
In reply, Yorkshire’s innings was affected by the weather. But thanks to Andy Hodd’s brilliant unbeaten 69 from 43 balls, Yorkshire were able to reach their Duckworth-Lewis target of 191 with three balls to spare, winning by three wickets.
One to Watch
Former Steelback Niall O’Brien has been very impressive in the competition so far, averaging 42.25 thanks to a brilliant 105 not out at the start of the tournament. With the ball, Charlie Shreck has been by far the stand out bowler, having taken 6 wickets at an average of 17.8, whilst not giving much away with an economy rate of 3.9.
There is only one change to the squad that travelled to Southampton on Friday, as Rob Keogh returns to the squad after injury taking the place of Michael Leask.
Muhammad Azhar Ullah