Blast Preview: Bears vs Rapids

It’s crunch time in the Vitality Blast.

And with four games remaining for the Bears, including three at home, it feels like it’s in their hands.

"Hopefully the last fixture against Lancashire has shown what we’re capable of as a group of players."

Jim Troughton

Jim Troughton’s side are returning to the shorter format after picking up three points in two games against the Lancashire Lightning.

It doesn’t come any easier, however, as they host local rivals Worcestershire Rapids.

A performance, similar to the one against Lightning at Edgbaston, will give them an excellent chance at the 2018 champions in front of a strong crowd.

“The home derby against Worcestershire is a big game for us,” said Troughton.

“We’ve got four games left and we’ve just started to show what we’re capable of.

“It’s been quite a messy tournament for us as we’ve tried to figure things out with the change of personnel and overseas.

“Hopefully, the last fixture against Lancashire has shown what we’re capable of as a group of players.

“I do believe we’ve got match-winners throughout the side with bat and ball.

“It’s about getting momentum at the right time, and if we do that, and get into a quarter-final then you just never know.”

The Bears currently sit in sixth with nine points after ten games.

Third-placed Nottinghamshire and fourth-placed Derbyshire are just two and one point ahead respectively.

It’s certainly all to play for.

“The North Group is quite tight, it’s ridiculous,” added the Head Coach.

“We obviously can’t control other results, but every county at the start of the Blast would fancy their chances in the T20. That shows how volatile it was.

“We’ve got teams above us and if we take points off them, not only does it bring confidence but will get us in the quarter-final spots.

“It’s a little bit like the playoffs in football, where there’s added pressure to the home quarter-final team as opposed to the team who’s travelled and looking for a smash and grab.

“If that’s the way it is for us then fine.

“We’ve had some good wins on the road in quarter-finals and quite a few players in this squad have been a part of that.

“One of our best days of cricket was at the Kia Oval a couple of years ago.

“We chased down 207 and if we can get in that position, then we have the guys capable of winning games.”

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