Royals aim to sink the Steelbacks

Source - worcesternews.co.uk

The Northamptonshire Steelbacks set the Twenty20 Cup alight on the opening night of the competition and now Worcestershire Royals must show them who is king.

Steve Rhodes' men head for Abington Avenue this evening (5.30pm) for their second match in the Mid/West/Wales Division after hosting Gloucestershire Gladiators.

The Steelback totalled 201-7 in their 20 overs at Taunton on Wednesday with David Sales smashing a 45-ball 71 which included six sixes in a 25-run victory over Somerset Sabres.

But Worcestershire, who have nine games in 14 days like the rest of the group, will have no fear in heading to the Steelbacks backyard.

With a chance to play for £2.5million this autumn every side will now take this shortened format of the game even more seriously.

Royals' director of cricket Rhodes said: "We have only just finished a four-day game and a one-day game but that is the same for everyone. We have put a lot of thought into our game-plan and how we want to go about it.

"During the New Zealand match I spent the day talking to the players trying to give them some role clarification.

"We did a lot of practice on Twenty20 cricket at the beginning of the week and we feel we have done enough for people to know what we are doing in this competition."

Rhodes feels that the players enjoy playing Twenty20 cricket following its inception five years ago. "It's a nice change away from the other formats of the game and that is the beauty of cricket in this country," said Rhodes.

"I'm sure that the added money will appeal to some people and make them try a little bit harder.

"The bottom line is if you are representing your county at cricket or doing anything you play to win. It shouldn't be the money that spurs you on."

The Steelbacks hope to have Johannes van der Wath back after he missed the match at Taunton due to an abductor strain, while there are doubts over Andrew Hall (abductor) and Jason Brown (calf), with England spinner Monty Panesar on stand-by.
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