NEIL SHARDLOW: I'm happy for us to be in pole
IF YOU’D told me at the start of the season that we’d get to the semi-finals of the knockout trophy and be 12 points clear at the top of the championship going in to the last two games, I’d have probably laughed.
There’s going to be a lot of pressure going in to this weekend’s game against Cheshire but we’re just looking to concentrate on playing good cricket and giving ourselves the best chance of getting a result next Tuesday.
Our first aim will be to bat the 90 overs in the first innings and pick up as many bonus points for bowling and batting as we can because they’ve become crucial as the games have gone by - there are 12 left to play for.
We want to try and be in a position where we’re dictating the game going in to the second innings and have a clear idea of what we’ve got to do to.
There’s a good wicket at South Wilts and it may suit the spinners on the third day.
It’s a three-horse race between ourselves, Cheshire and Devon and we are going to be keeping an eye on what’s happening between Devon and Shropshire but it won’t have too much of a bearing on what we’re doing.
The other two sides are notorious for being in that dogfight to try and win the championship but it’s a new thing for us.
Cheshire will know that they’ve got to come and beat us if they want to have a chance of winning the title themselves, so we’ll have to be ready to deal with that at South Wilts.
We’ve made a couple of changes to the side because Neil Clark is away on holiday and Uzi Quereshi is contracted to play for Frocester in the national knockout cup (on Sunday).
So that means that Ed Kilbee comes in. He’s a talented lad and he’s played himself into a bit of form, not just at Goatacre but also with the MCC.
Jack Mynott has also been playing well for the MCC and gets his chance in this game.
Mike Coles said that he would be happy to have him after the way he’s been performing and that’s more than good enough.
A win would really put us in pole position going in to the last game (away to Shropshire on August 17) and that’s exactly where we want to find ourselves.
But we know that we need to be at our best to make that happen.