Lancashire Lightning go into their final NatWest T20 Blast North Group match against Worcestershire Rapids at New Road tonight knowing that in all probability a win will be necessary to ensure they qualify for the quarter-finals.
“We have to win no matter what and hopefully we’ll get over the line,” said Lancashire all-rounder Arron Lilley.
“We’ve had four or five games that have been tight but we’ve only got over the line in one of them, which was the Yorkshire match.
“I think it will be Kent that we play if we get through, so we’ll have some confidence and feel that we can beat them. But beating the top two sides in the North Group would be big for us going into the quarter-finals.
"We’ve got the players to do it and we just have to be confident and do the things we’ve been doing well.”
Lilley’s reference to his side’s win last Friday at Edgbaston reinforces the importance of Lancashire’s recent fine form, which also includes a good win over the Yorkshire Vikings, but he knows that the pressure will be on them at New Road.
“You just have to home in on your own skills and do what you know best,” he said.
“I think we back ourselves and our skills to be better than them.”
Lilley’s views were backed up by the Lancashire coach Ashley Giles, who has encouraged his players to adopt a knockout mentality over recent and future games.
“I said to the team last week that we should take Finals Day out of it,” he said.
“Basically from last Friday we were in quarter-final, semi-final and final mode and we had to win three games in a row to get there. We just need to go and win at Worcester and then we can move on.
“We are getting towards the business end of the tournament. We were very inconsistent at the start but we are beginning to find our feet. It is a knockout phase and if we are beginning to play some proper cricket, then that is good for us.”