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Interviews

Newell Sets Sights On Finals Day

Nottinghamshire chief Mick Newell tells Tamhas Woods he is confident the county can safely negotiate their quarter-final clash with Hampshire and qualify for Friends Life t20 Finals Day. 

Nottinghamshire director of cricket Mick Newell believes that this year’s Friends Life t20 campaign has been one of much promise and is backing the Outlaws to continue their good form and progress beyond the quarter-finals.

His side claimed a home tie against Hampshire Royals in the last eight after finishing second in the North Group and Newell is now eyeing a spot at Finals Day on August 25 in Cardiff. Following Sunday’s victory against bottom-placed Leicestershire, Newell said: “Obviously I’m very happy with the team, we’ve played well and negotiated a tough group.

“The rain may have been responsible in guaranteeing our progression, but there’s nothing lucky about it. Four of our games got called off, leaving us with six. We won five of those and you can only play the games in front of you.”

Nottinghamshire will play their quarter-final clash at home by virtue of finishing as the best runners-up in the group stage and Newell is confident that will serve them well. “We love playing at Trent Bridge,” he said. “We always look to score a high number of runs in front of our fans. We have a good, aggressive, positive style of play.

“No doubt the pressure is on us to perform and get through to Finals Day. I certainly feel that we can cope psychologically. Our home record is very good, as are our fans. That counts for a lot, so we generally thrive on pressure.”

Despite a team full of individual talent, particularly when England don’t come calling to pick off several of their star names, Newell feels much of Nottinghamshire’s success can be traced back to their strong team ethic. “We have good players across the park and everyone does their bit. In terms of batting, I think that Alex Hales has been in excellent form. As for our bowlers, Andrew Carter and Harry Gurney stand out as dangermen for us. That being said, all of the squad have shown tremendous commitment and courage throughout the group stage.”

But Newell, who was recently linked with the Bangladesh coaching job before committing his future to Notts, said he will taking nothing for granted against a Hampshire team that won their last five group matches to seal their progress. “I have a lot of respect for Hampshire as a team, they go out there and always give you a game. Dimitri Mascarenhas is an excellent bowler, he can spoil even the best batting performances. Glenn Maxwell has also done a great job in different roles recently, he is a true allrounder. They are a very good side, but we will be approaching the game with confidence.”

Nottinghamshire will host Hampshire on Wednesday July 25 as they bid to qualify for Finals Day and lift their first limited overs trophy for 21 years.

Click here to read Following On: From Alex Hales To Alex Hales

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