Notts Outlaws face a pivotal weekend, with two matches in the NatWest T20 Blast competition.
On Saturday afternoon they host Worcestershire Rapids in a televised encounter, having travelled to play Northants Steelbacks the previous evening.
The Outlaws currently lie in fourth position in the North Group table and both of their forthcoming opponents sit above them.
Michael Lumb has been a prolific run scorer in recent times for Notts and he believes things are starting to look much clearer in terms of which sides will qualify from the group.
“Our fate is in our own hands, in a sense,” he says. “We’re on a bit of a run, we’ve played some good white ball stuff, so the boys are confident but these sides are up towards the top of the league for a reason, they’ve been playing well also.
“It should be a good weekend of cricket. If the weather stays good we’ll get a couple of games in, with good crowds and if we can string a couple of wins together we’ll be up towards the top of the table.”
Lumb is particularly looking forward to playing against Northants again. Four weeks ago, in the Royal London One-Day Cup, the left-hander smashed 182 against the Steelbacks on a day when his side plundered 445 runs in just 50 overs.
“There were loads of records broken and all those accolades are nice,” recalls the 36-year old. “But when you go out to bat you don’t think about those things. It was a good day for me and a good day for the club, because we got a win but it’s in the past and was in a different comp. T20 is a new game and a new challenge. We’ll go there with a bit of confidence but we know they are a good side.”
There have only been six completed matches between the two sides in the domestic T20 competition but Lumb says the fact that they always spend pre-season together has helped his preparation.
“We’ve got used to them and know what we’re coming up against, so your plans are pretty set. You know who you are going to face and who is going to bat for them and vice versa, so it’s good in that regard but it’s a different game and in T20 things happen so quickly that you can’t take anyone lightly.
“They are a good side in this competition and are up for the challenge but we’ll be definitely up for it as well.”
Imran Tahir has now taken over from Andre Russell as the Outlaws’ second overseas player for this competition and the South African international leg spinner will feature in both matches, alongside Australia’s Dan Christian.