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North Group leaders aim to stretch advantage

Notts Outlaws and Lancashire Lightning have the opportunity to pull clear at the summit of the Friends Life t20 North Group tomorrow evening.

Leaders Notts will be aiming to secure a sixth win in eight t20 outings when they welcome local rivals Derbyshire Falcons to Trent Bridge.

“I’ve always kept targets as to points required for us to get to the quarter-finals. If we beat Derbyshire we’re almost there,” said director of cricket Mick Newell on Nottinghamshire's official website.

Derbyshire started the campaign with three straight victories but have since lost four in a row and know defeat will all but spell the end of their challenge.

Overseas batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul remains absent for the Falcons with a hamstring injury, while Albie Morkel is rated doubtful after picking up a groin problem in Sunday’s defeat to Durham Dynamos.

Lancashire are only a point behind Notts and can open up a healthy advantage over third-placed Durham should they defeat struggling Leicestershire Foxes at Grace Road.

Peter Moores’ men have won their last three games in the shortest format to surge into contention for a last-eight spot.

Off-spinner Arron Lilley told Lancashire’s official website: “With the record we have had in the last few weeks, any team would be confident. We have had a lot of games in a short space of time and won them all.

“If we go to Leicestershire and win, then we come back to Emirates Old Trafford (against Yorkshire on Wednesday) with a big crowd behind us. We have a big chance of qualifying. If we win the next two games we will qualify for the quarter-finals, but we want to win all three to ensure we get a home quarter-final.”

Jigar Naik, Matthew Hoggard and Robbie Williams remain sidelined for Leicestershire, but Matthew Boyce has overcome his back trouble.

Teenage Scotland seamer Ruaidhri Smith could make his senior debut for Glamorgan in their Midlands/Wales/West Group match against Worcestershire Royals.

Smith has been named in a 13-man squad after impressing for the club’s second XI. He made his Yorkshire Bank 40 bow for Scottish Saltires earlier this summer.

Glamorgan have also called up the more experienced figure of Gareth Rees, who cracked an LV= County Championship century against Lancashire last week.

The Welsh side would leapfrog Somerset into second with success at the SWALEC Stadium, while Worcestershire have the opportunity to climb off the foot of the table at Gloucestershire Gladiators’ expense.

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