Ackermann eager for home win

Captain Colin Ackermann said the team is determined to land a Vitality Blast victory at the Fischer County Ground for the Foxes faithful.

Tomorrow’s visit of North Group leaders Worcestershire Rapids (6.30pm start) is the penultimate home group game of the 2018 campaign, and the first of back-to-back matches as a trip to Derbyshire Falcons follows on Saturday evening.

Although the Foxes has not fully hit their straps in the competition as yet, Ackermann, who scored a superb 74 at Durham Jets last night, is determined to end the campaign on a high.

“It’s high on our list to get a win at home,” said Ackermann. “It hasn’t happened for us yet at the Fischer County Ground, and I can’t really put my finger on why, but we’re determined to do well tomorrow night. We’ll be up for the game.

“We had a good game at Worcestershire in the 50-over competition, and they are doing well in this format too, but it’s a good chance for us to put in a performance for our supporters. It’s important that we take our opportunity.

“It’s then a game in front of the television cameras at Derbyshire, so another opportunity to show what we’re all about. We have to bounce back.”

There were three important games on Thursday night between six teams in contention - and Worcestershire Rapids, Lancashire Lightning and Birmingham Bears beat Derbyshire Falcons, Yorkshire Vikings and Notts Outlaws respectively.

So although last night ended in a setback against the Jets, the Foxes sit four points behind the fourth and final qualification position with six points still up for grabs. Where there is mathematical life, there is hope.

The North Group is nothing if not tight; and although a glance at the table suggests that a team will need to get to around the 15 or 16 point mark to progress, there are plenty of remaining fixtures that pit rivals against each other.

Notts Outlaws (7th place: 10 pts from 11 games) face Yorkshire Vikings (4th place: 12 points from 11 games) twice in a week, while Lancashire Lightning (3rd place: 13 points from 11 games) and Birmingham Bears (5th place: 11 points from 10 games) also have to play home and away during that time.

The first meetings between those rivals take place at Trent Bridge and Emirates Old Trafford tomorrow night - so with the Foxes playing twice in two days, it would be a good time to make a move.

First things first, however, and Ackermann is seeking an improvement in performance as a base to build on.

“Obviously it was disappointing to lose at Durham, as the home loss to them really hurt us, as did the home game against Derbyshire,” he said.

“I thought we gave them too many in the field. It has been our Achilles' heel this season. It's something that we have to improve on.

“They got to about a par score on a used wicket with big boundaries. We got off to a shaky start and lost too many wickets in the powerplay - that set us back. It is another area that we need to work on.

“With the big boundaries it was difficult to get that over of 20 plus runs. We've got to keep our heads up high. There's still a few games to go and we've got to keep working hard.”

A 14-man squad has been named for the game, with Dieter Klein, Tom Wells and Rob Sayer in contention alongside the XI that played at Durham Jets.

Foxes (from 14 v Worcestershire Rapids): Ackermann (capt), Chappell, Cosgrove, Dexter, Eckersley, Griffiths, Javid, Klein, Nabi, Parkinson, Raine, Sayer, Swindells, Wells.

* Our next Vitality Blast home game is against Worcestershire Rapids tomorrow! Today (Thursday) is your last opportunity to secure tickets at advance prices – adult tickets cost just £16 ahead of the game. Secure your seat at the Fischer County Ground today HERE

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