Bear aiming for Twenty20 triumph
Ashley Giles is backing his Warwickshire side to keep their Twenty20 ball rolling - all the way into the Champions League.
The Bears face Kent at Edgbaston tomorrow in a mouth-watering contest from which the winner will advance to the semi-finals and final day at Southampton's Rose Bowl on July 26.
For the two semi-final winners, a place in the planned Champions League - and a considerable windfall - awaits.
Whether that competition ever actually comes to pass remains to be seen but, if it does, the Bears want to be there. And Giles sees no reason why they should not be, having seen his team finish emphatically and impressively top of the Midlands/West/ Wales group.
"When you get this far in a tournament you have got to be aiming to win it," the director of cricket said. "We are one win away from the finals day and two from the Champions League and we will go in against anybody with confidence after the way we came through the group.
"We played really good, workmanlike cricket. We had a game plan and stuck to it which is not always easy to do in Twenty20.
"In the last game I thought we slipped from the plan a little bit and it was disappointing to lose that game and not go all the way through unbeaten. But in a group situation, if you win enough games you earn the right to lose one and not get punished.
"We won all the games that mattered a nd beat some very good sides. The win at home to Somerset pleased me most. It showed we are not just a 'route one' side. Neil Carter got out but we chased a total down very well.
"It is not all about sixes and fours. You have to employ proper cricket skills and if you do that well you will win games."
Kent will pose a potent threat as the teams prepare to meet in Twenty20 action for the first time.
"Kent are a different sort of side to us," Giles said. "You go down their team and you think 'there's a match-winner', 'there's a Twenty20 star'. We are different to that - we are lower profile but we have proved very good as a unit.
"Kent are a very strong side but we feel confident against anybody after the way we played in the group."