Adams demands clear thinking
Surrey Lions professional cricket manager Chris Adams has urged his side to focus on seizing a quarter-final place in the Friends Provident t20.
Surrey go into today’s final round of group games knowing only victory over Gloucestershire Gladiators at Bristol will give them a realistic chance of claiming the final South Group last-eight spot.
Surrey’s hopes are still alive thanks to a surprise victory over Sussex Sharks at Arundel last Sunday and Middlesex Panthers’ win over Hampshire Royals - their two competitors for the last knockout berth - on Friday evening.
Adams, who has named a 12-man squad for today’s contest, said: “We must focus on our chance of qualifying for the quarter-finals.
“Results like the one against Sussex last Sunday are great but there is a tinge of disappointment because we’re not already there.
“We should have qualified by now because we have played enough good cricket and shown enough quality in this form of the game to have qualified already.
“We’ve lost some games in situations where you should never lose and that’s a disappointing factor. But having said that you can only deal with what is ahead of you and you can’t change the past.
“We know what we have to do on Sunday and we are relishing the challenge.”
Surrey squad: Rory Hamilton-Brown (captain), Steven Davies (wicketkeeper), Jason Roy, Stewart Walters, Andrew Symonds, Matthew Spriegel, Gary Wilson, Tom Lancefield, Chris Schofield, Chris Tremlett, Andre Nel, Stuart Meaker.
Despite Friday’s defeat at the Rose Bowl, Hampshire have kept the same squad for the visit of Sussex Sharks, who are already guaranteed a quarter-final berth but need to win today to have any chance of securing a home tie.
However, the Royals may give captain Dimitri Mascarenhas a long-awaited return from an Achilles injury after he missed out on Friday. Should Mascarenhas be kept waiting, Dominic Cork will retain the captaincy.
Sussex have announced an unchanged squad following the return of England pair Michael Yardy and Luke Wright in Friday’s defeat to Essex Eagles.
Hampshire squad: Jimmy Adams, Abdul Razzaq, Sean Ervine, Nic Pothas (wicketkeeper), Dominic Cork, James Vince, Michael Carberry, Dimitri Mascarenhas, Danny Briggs, Chris Wood, Neil McKenzie, Dan Christian, Hamza Riazzudin.
Sussex squad: Will Beer, Joe Gatting, Murray Goodwin, Chad Keegan, James Kirtley, Robin Martin-Jenkins, Chris Nash, Matt Prior (wicketkeeper), Ollie Rayner, Dwayne Smith, Michael Thornely, Luke Wright, Michael Yardy (captain), Yasir Arafat.
Middlesex unsurprisingly have named an identical party - still missing England trio Andrew Strauss, Eoin Morgan and Steven Finn - for their trip to in-form Essex, who have already secured their progression.
Middlesex squad: Neil Dexter (captain), Gareth Berg, Pedro Collins, Tyron Henderson, Dawid Malan, Tim Murtagh, Scott Newman, Iain O'Brien, Ben Scott (wicketkeeper), Owais Shah, Tom Smith, Jackson Thompson, Shaun Udal.
Kent Spitfires have little but pride to play for when they take on Somerset Sabres, who have already secured a home quarter-final, at Taunton. They are still missing skipper Rob Key due to a broken finger.
Kent squad: Martin van Jaarsveld (captain), Joe Denly, James Hockley, Geraint Jones (wicketkeeper), Darren Stevens, Alex Blake, Azhar Mahmood, James Tredwell, Matt Coles, Malinga Bandara, Simon Cook, Ashley Shaw, James Goodman.
Like in the South Group, the top three in the North Group - Nottinghamshire Outlaws, Warwickshire Bears and Lancashire Lightning - are assured of quarter-final places.
Lancashire know they will be away from home and warm up for that task with a trip to New Road to face Worcestershire Royals, who are fighting to avoid the ignominy of finishing bottom of the table.
The Lightning have named a 12-man squad missing Mark Chilton, who led them in their last match - Thursday’s defeat to Northamptonshire Steelbacks.
Lancashire squad: Paul Horton, Karl Brown, Steven Croft, Gareth Cross (wicketkeeper) , Kyle Hogg, Simon Kerrigan, Nathan McCullum, Sajid Mahmood, Stephen Moore, Stephen Parry, Daren Powell, Tom Smith.