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All four final fixtures are crucial to survival
9:00am Tuesday 23rd August 2011 in Daryl Mitchell
WE cannot treat today’s game at Hampshire any differently to how we would any other.
Yes, this is a big match but, let’s be honest, all four of our remaining fixtures are.
However, there is no hidden formula when you have games like this — you just go out there looking to execute your plans as best you can to try and win the match.
Hampshire are bottom of LV= County Championship Division One but they come into this match on a high after winning their last two games, including against Warwickshire last week.
We know that it is not going to be easy, but hopefully we can repeat our display against them a couple of months ago when we won by nine wickets at New Road.
But I feel we will have to do a little better than at Blackpool last week when we lost to Lancashire.
There were a couple of areas where we let ourselves down.
If we are honest, we should have bowled them out for 200 — they got 80 runs too many.
We put Steven Croft down when he was on 30 and he went on to score a good hundred which was a quick one too — that was disappointing.
Then we were on 21-5 after good bowling from Glenn Chapple and Kyle Hogg.
But we managed to put up a bit of a fight and get ourselves to 202 before bowling pretty well in their second innings, including a good five-wicket haul from Gareth Andrew.
Vikram Solanki’s century put us in with a shout when trying to chase down 329, but we just could not get ourselves over the finish line on that final morning.
Richard Jones, who came back into the side, did so well after the season he has had.
Hopefully, he can continue like that for the rest of the campaign.
He has been working hard with bowling coach Matt Mason this summer and was involved in the England set-up with David Saker.
It is fair to say the Clydesdale Bank 40 has not gone to plan this year — we have not won a match at home all season.
We just have not clicked, even though we have worked extremely hard on our one-day plans.
Against the Netherlands, we batted pretty well but we were a little sloppy with the ball and in the field.
It was good to see David Lucas will be joining us next season to add a little bit more experience to our bowling attack.
He is a genuine left-arm swing bowler, who has good variation.
We have missed that bit of experience this season with Mase retiring so it will be good to have David on board next year.