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Royals look for that winning feeling

After the debacle of Friday and the crushing defeat on Sunday, Worcestershire Royals entertain Northamptonshire Steelbacks at New Road tomorrow evening with nothing but pride to play for.

The County have three more Twenty20 Cup matches to play this week with the focus on getting that winning feeling back before they return to County Championship Division Two action on Sunday.

Having been embarrassed at Edgbaston against Warwickshire Bears, Somerset Sabres’ Marcus Trescothick handed out a harsh lesson in Twenty20 batting to end the Royals’ chances of reaching the last eight.

In fact, had Worcestershire not beaten Gloucestershire Gladiators, who have a superior run rate, they would be propping up the Mid/West/ Wales Division as they are level on points.

The Royals will be without seamer Steve Magoffin for tomorrow’s game with the County awaiting results on a scan on a hip muscle injury, while fellow paceman Simon Jones is rested.

Chris Whelan has been brought in to replace the Wel-shman, but director of cricket Steve Rhodes has hinted that Matt Mason may return for one or both of the final two games.

“Matt has got a second team game today, but it could be that we see him in the final 20-over matches,” said Rhodes.

“Simon won’t play today, with the position we are in, the policy of carefully managing him means that he will be rested.

“He will be back later in the week to continue his bowling, physio and strength and conditioning work with the County Championship game in mind and he could play in the final Twenty20 match on Friday — that has not yet been decided.”

Northamptonshire are unlikely to make any changes to the side that beat Glamorgan by 24 runs on Sunday.

Former County overseas star Andrew Hall, who took 6-21 against Worcestershire 11 days ago, claimed another five-wicket haul against the Welsh county.

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