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Adams considers moving up the order

Chris Adams is contemplating a move up the batting order for Sussex's crucial Twenty20 Cup tie against Essex at Hove tonight.

Adams does not want to break up the opening partnership of Murray Goodwin and Luke Wright, which has been the most successful in the competition this season with both players scoring hundreds.

But Adams may move up to No.3 in place of Rana Naved, who top-scored with 25 in the 100-run defeat by Surrey on Friday but faced 28 balls - playing and missing on several occasions.

The Sharks can expect another heavy-duty new-ball spell from Essex's Australian Andy Bichel tonight.

Adams said: "I think we might have to re-think the pinch-hitting roles. Rana is a great striker of the ball when he connects but what you cannot afford to do is not play at too many balls. You have to back a four up with a single or another four.

"Murray Goodwin has started the competition well and we don't want him to think he has to be the striker. If Luke goes early like he did on Friday perhaps I will have to go in there with Murray, like we did against Essex at Chelmsford in the first game, and start to build an innings so that you give yourselves a chance to have a thrash in the last few overs."

Adams was happy with his side's improved bowling performance on Friday but believes his attack is still not firing on all cylinders.

In particular, he is hoping more success with the new ball will enable their best Twenty20 bowler Mushtaq Ahmed to play a more attacking role.

"Against Hampshire last Wednesday I thought we really went at them when we bowled," he added.

"Maybe because it was a shortened game helped because you know the most you are going to bowl is two or three overs and you really go for it.

"But we have still not nailed a team with the ball yet - the two games we have won have been with the bat and I will be looking for us to do that tonight.

"Mushy was outstanding again on Friday against Surrey but he's coming on more as a run-saver rather than getting three or four wickets as Chris Schofield did for them.

"Batsmen trying to have a punt at Mushy are going to get themselves out so we need to get ourselves in a position where we take early wickets so they can't afford just to knock him around for ones and twos and not get themselves out to him.

"Even in this cricket where every run is important we need him to be our best attacking bowler."

Sussex slipped from first to third in the table after losing to Surrey but their hopes of reaching the quarter-finals for the first time improved on Sunday when Essex suffered a surprise defeat to bottom club Hampshire.

Two wins from their remaining three games should be enough to qualify for the knockout stages, even if it as one of the two counties with the best records who finish in third place.

But coach Mark Robinson acknowleged that they cannot afford a repeat of Friday's scenario when they were playing catch-up after scoring just 24 runs in the first six overs of fielding restrictions.

He said: "We played so well in the previous two games and we can do so again in the last three.

"What we need to do which we didn't on Friday was get a start. When the field is in for the first six overs you need more than 20 runs on the board.

Twenty20 is a cruel game because you can lose it very quickly and that's what happened to us.

"Sometimes it is very easy to pinpoint why you lose a game but I felt the commitment and energy was there, we just weren't very good on the night and occasionally you just have to take it on the chin and move on to the next game.

"I think there is a danger of over-analysing. We could have done a couple of things better but on the night everything that went wrong for us did so, including having to bat when one of the floodlights was not working.

"But we are still in a very good position because the group is wide open and I'm sure the players will produce a performance against Essex."

source - theargus.co.uk
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