Beware of big guns, patel warns yorks
Samit Patel today issued a chilling warning to Notts Outlaws' Twenty20 Cup rivals: "Just wait until our big guns really start firing".
Notts go into tonight's game against Yorkshire Phoenix still unbeaten after four wins and two games abandoned because of heavy rain.
It leaves them top of the North Group table on ten points and a win at Headingley will be enough to clinch their passage into the quarter-finals.
But attacking batsman Patel already has one eye on the knock-out stages and feels the Outlaws have every chance of winning the competition outright.
Last year the team were narrowly beaten in the final by Leicestershire Foxes at Trent Bridge, but he feels the overall squad is stronger now than then.
And Patel, 22, also points out they have strung together an impressive set of results in their six matches so far without their premier hitters making big contributions.
"Our main batters have not really dominated yet and I can't wait until they do," he said.
"I'm sure Fleming, Hussey, Read and Ealham are going to hit form at some point and when they do, it is going to be difficult to stop us.
"The amount of runs they can score quickly means teams are not going to be able to reach the big totals we set.
"Hopefully they are saving up their runs for when they are needed in the latter stages of the competition.
"The other good thing is that we can bat all the way down the order (last man Simon Francis hit a six in the home match against Yorkshire).
"I think the strength we have is down to Mick and the signings he has made and he deserves a lot of credit for that."
Notts won by seven wickets in their corresponding match at Yorkshire last year with the help of 43 off 36 balls from Patel.
He knows Yorkshire will be keen to set the record straight this time, especially after losing by just four runs when the sides met at Trent Bridge only last week.
Patel said: "They won't want to lose at home in front of a good crowd and I know Goughy (Darren Gough) wasn't happy when they didn't beat us the other night.
"They will feel they should have got the runs (chasing 150 to win) but they probably set off a bit too slow and left it too late.
"But they have some talented senior players in McGrath, Gillespie and Rudolph and if they are on song it is going to make it hard.
"We are in a great rhythm at the moment, though, and the plans we have put in place, which are pretty similar to last year, are working.
"We are in a great position in the group, but we have worked hard to do it and have gone about things in the right way in every single game."
Having lost three games, Phoenix are virtually out of the running to qualify for the knockout stages.
But director of cricket Mick Newell will be warning his players against any form of complacency.
"They may not have anything to play for but they will still put out a strong side and want to win for their own pride," he said.
"We just managed to beat them at home thanks to some decent bowling and fielding after I was disappointed with the way we batted.
"I think they will be a different proposition on their own ground, but we have a formula and a pattern to our game that makes us confident every time we go out to play Twenty20."
Neither AJ Harris (knee) nor Will Jefferson (hamstring) are expected to travel to Headingley.
But both could be in the running to play in the Outlaws' final group game at Durham Dynamos on Friday.
Notts squad: Fleming, Swann, Patel, Wagh, Hussey, Read, Ealham, Shafayat, Clough, Ferley, Francis, Franks.