Giles wants strong T20 finish for Lancashire
Ashley Giles wants Lancashire to go out with a bang in the NatWest T20 Blast against Birmingham Bears at Emirates Old Trafford tomorrow.
The Lightning’s hopes of qualifying for the quarter-finals are virtually over after seven defeats in their 13 North Group matches so far.
They must win and then hope for “an act of God”, as Giles put it, from the match between Derbyshire and Durham, where both sides must take a point each from the match via a tie or No Result.
But Giles, in high spirits after yesterday’s efficient 50-over win over Derby, has urged his side to maintain the momentum as they bid to reach the Royal London quarter-finals later this weekend.
He has also admitted that it would be good to put a spanner in the works of his former side the Bears, who can still qualify for the Blast’s knockout stages.
“We’ve got a massive game on Friday. It’s very difficult for us to qualify, but we’re playing for a lot of pride,” said Lancashire’s cricket director and head coach.
"Every time we go out, we want to play our best cricket for us and the supporters. We can also knock the Bears out if we win on Friday, and it’s always nice to upset someone else’s party.”
Giles was reminded that, after such a comment, that he is a Warwickshire life member and still lives in the area following his distinguished career there as a player and Championship title winning coach.
“This stuff will only be read in the North, though, won’t it!” he quipped.
“Look, I don’t mind upsetting a party,” he went on.
“We’ve played some average cricket at times, so we’re there to win on Friday. We won’t be playing a weakened team. We want to win, as we did last Friday (at Durham).
“It’s a shame because of how close we’ve come.
“If we do win, we’ll only be one win away from where we were last year, and it seems like it’s been such a long T20 campaign and a disappointing one. We won it last year, and it’s not that we’ve played bad cricket this year, it’s that we’ve been sloppy in areas.
“The Nottingham six-run penalty, winning the game easily at Headingley and then giving it away. There have been other instances, too.”
The former England left-arm spinner praised his players for the way they played at Derby under lights in the RL50 yesterday after a difficult period against the white ball.
They were heavily beaten by Leicestershire at Grace Road on Tuesday.
He added: “We haven’t played anywhere near our potential, and we know that. People will be frustrated, and we are as frustrated as them. There’s potential in this squad full stop. It’s a mixture of confidence and skill, but generally skills underpin confidence.
“If your skills aren’t good and you are not having success, it’s very difficult to remain confident. We have to have that intensity and try to be better. If you’re skills aren’t there, work at them and improve.
“Rather than us knocking heads together, which we’ve done a little bit of over the last few days, we just need to keep getting better. There were some real positives against Derbyshire, and we need to dwell on them.”