DURHAM star Phil Mustard is calling on his team-mates to outgun the Outlaws and fire themselves up the table tonight.
Top-of-the-table Nottinghamshire Outlaws are the visitors to the Emirates ICG (5.30pm) for a Friends Life T20 encounter, while Geoff Cook’s side make the return trip to Trent Bridge 48 hours later.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Mustard knows that Dynamos will have their work cut out for them, but says it’s crucial that they try to draw first blood.
“Momentum can have a big say in whether or not you’re successful in T20 cricket,” said Mustard (pictured).
“At the minute, Notts have got that momentum because they are top of the table and have won four of their five games (they also had one no result after their clash away to Leicestershire was rained off).
“We haven’t managed to get that sort of run going, but if we can get a result against Notts, then we can look to kick on from there.
“We play them twice in three days, and I think it’s important to get on top in the first game. That gives you the confidence, and the momentum to build on.”
Durham’s last T20 encounter was a wash-out as Sunday’s home tie with Derbyshire was cut short due to heavy rain.
That saw Dynamos pick up one point rather than a possible two and leaves them fourth bottom, one point off the foot.
But, despite having won just one of their five games so far (they have lost twice and had two no results), Mustard is confident Durham can improve.
“We have been a bit unlucky with the weather in terms of the two no-results,” he said. “But we know that there is still room for improvement.
“We’re confident that we have a squad strong enough to do well in all competitions, but we haven’t really done well in the T20 for a couple of years now.
“It’s up to us to try to change that, and the best way to do that is by winning games.
We feel that we haven’t been too far away, and if we can just get that little extra push, we should be able to start climbing the table.”
Mustard is well aware of the dangers the Outlaws possess, but feels Durham can cope with any threat posed.
He said: “In the likes of David Hussey and Adam Voges, they have two very dangerous batsmen.
“However, I think we have a bowling attack that is stronger than theirs, and it’s up to us to make sure we stop them from scoring.”
DURHAM (from): Mustard, G Muchall, Blackwell, Collingwood, Miller, Benkenstein, Breese, Plunkett, Claydon, Onions, Rushworth, Borthwick, Stoneman.