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Leicestershire Foxes still have a chance to have a big say in the outcome of the NatWest T20 Blast north section in the final three games of the season.
The Foxes were eliminated following the defeat to Lancashire Lightning but play three sides who have a chance of qualifying for the quarter-finals in Durham Jets, Nottinghamshire Outlaws and Birmingham Bears.
Durham are tonight's opponents (5.30pm start) and are the outsiders. The Jets will realistically have to win all three games and rely on results elsewhere if they are to sneak through.
The Foxes then have a tricky trip on Sunday afternoon against an Outlaws side who go into the last trio of games knowing that a hat-trick of victories will guarantee a home tie in the last eight.
The Bears face a huge clash at Yorkshire Vikings this evening – if they lose, they are out barring a miraculous turn of events. A win, however, would give them hope ahead of our game at Edgbaston a week tonight.
Josh Cobb’s men have played some good cricket in the tournament and will give it everything in the final three matches, so tonight's game promises to be an intriguing one.
It's your last chance to see NatWest T20 Blast on a Friday night in 2014 – the games have been great occasions this season, so don’t miss out! With the 50-Over Royal London One-Day Cup on the horizon, the next three matches are going to be important for the Foxes as they look to take form into the new competition.
The first meeting of the sides was a real thriller at Emirates Durham ICG with young all-rounders Tom Wells and Ben Raine, who started his career in the north-east, seeing the team home.
The Foxes’ performances have had a lot of positive aspects to them, not least the batting form of Greg Smith (385 runs) and Cobb (346 runs), who will be looking to go past the 400-run mark this weekend. The duo are currently in the top ten of the FTI MVP rankings with Cobb 5th and Smith 6th.
On the bowling front, Anthony Ireland (17), Raine (12) and Jigar Naik (11) are the leading wicket-takers, while Cobb and Scott Styris have also chipped in and been extremely economical.
Unfortunately Ireland will not be able to play in tonight's game after breaking his nose while fielding during the Second XI's superb win against Durham this week. Shiv Thakor also had to leave the field halfway through an over during the victory.
Atif Sheikh is included in the Foxes' squad for the first time since signing a two-year contract at the Club. The left arm paceman, who caught the eye against India last month, took four wickets yesterday. Leading LV=CC wicket-taker Nathan Buck, who has also taken nine wickets in this competition, is also back in the Foxes 13.
Foxes (from): Cobb, O'Brien, Smith, Eckersley, Boyce, Redfern, Styris, Wells, Raine, Naik, Shreck, Buck, Sheikh.