Sidebottom ready to tame Lions
Strike bowler Ryan Sidebottom believes Notts' chances of reaching their first Twenty20 Cup final rest on taming Surrey's powerful batting line-up.
The Outlaws take on the Lions in the second semi-final of Saturday's finals day at Trent Bridge.
The winners of the tie will then play the victors of the first semi-final between Leicestershire and Essex for the right to be crowned 2006 Twenty20 champions.
But left-armer Sidebottom is not looking too far ahead and is concentrating on Notts' primary objective of beating Surrey.
He feels Notts must stop their opponents from getting off to a flyer with the bat and hopes to contribute a tight four-over spell towards that.
"Surrey are a very good batting side and it is going to be very difficult for us bowling to them with the players they have," said Sidebottom.
"But if we can restrict them and keep the score down then they are probably not as strong as some of the other teams in the bowling department.
"From my point of view I will try to keep the runs under 30 from my four overs and if I do that then I am fairly happy.
"But taking early wickets can also be very important because it helps slow the scoring rate. Other teams usually put their top batsman at the top of the order and if you can get one or two of them out then it is a real bonus.
"If you can, then teams don't know whether to carry on slogging or whether they need to consolidate and that's when the run-rate can slow."
This year has seen a complete transformation in Notts' Twenty20 form after winning only two of eight group games in 2005.
They secured six victories and went down to only two defeats in their group games before convincingly beating Northants Steelbacks in the quarter-finals.
Sidebottom is a firm believer that a more considered approach has worked wonders for Notts.
Sidebottom said: "A great deal of credit has to go to the skipper and the coach because they have sat down and worked out how to do things.
"In the last couple of years before this we just went out and played the games without worrying about things.
"But now the preparation is more detailed; everyone knows their role and we work to a plan. We also have a lot more confidence that comes from winning matches."
Sidebottom missed most of the group matches through a thigh injury but came back with a bang by taking a match-winning 2-16 against Northants.
Now he is hungry for more success after sitting out a large chunk of the Twenty20 campaign.
"I'm looking forward to Saturday immensely. Home advantage was a big incentive to get this far and confidence is pretty high around the camp," said Sidebottom. "It is going to be a massive occasion in front of a full house so playing the quarter-final at home with the ground nearly full probably helped.
"The players now know what to expect and the nerves that they had then will hopefully be gone now.
"I think if we keep playing consistently as we have done in this competition then we have a good chance.
"But anything can happen. You can go for 20 an over which costs you the game or you can bowl an over that changes the course of the match.
"Things can change that much from match to match."