Cook previews Warwickshire Bears FPT tie

Monday 18th May 2009

FRIENDS PROVIDENT TROPHY: Warwickshire Bears v Kent Spitfires
20 May at Edgbaston

Kent“s cricketers go into their final Friends Provident group match knowing that not even a victory guarantees them a place in the knockout stages. The Spitfires are fourth in Group B, two points behind the Middlesex Panthers, but with an inferior run-rate.

It therefore means that the team will need to win in style – if they are to leapfrog the Panthers and tomorrow“s opponents, the Warwickshire Bears. Talking to the official website from his Birmingham hotel, bowler Simon Cook (pictured) said: ‘I haven“t really studied the group in great detail but we are not in a strong position to qualify. We came away for these two matches (Scotland and Warwickshire) with the aim of winning both. Sadly we got stuffed yesterday by the Duckworth/Lewis method and we are now facing a massive ask to qualify.“

The defeat to the Scottish Saltires was hard to take and Cook was clearly disappointed with how things went in Edinburgh: ‘Ironically it was the first time we“ve had a chance to bat first in this competition and the game became rain affected. Sometimes the Duckworth/Lewis method can work for sides but it definitely went against us yesterday. Personally, I don“t feel D/L takes into account the powerplay“s. Everything that could go against us did go against us and it was difficult to work out scores and to post a competitive score with the constant interruptions.“

Kent take on the Bears tomorrow at Edgbaston, knowing both sides can still qualify for the last eight. The home side are in the stronger position, having accumulated an extra point. Cook is anticipating a keenly contested match: ‘It should be a good game because the sides are similar in ability. We put in a real good performance at Canterbury and won that game. Now, it“s just a case of trying to continue that form up here in Birmingham. Even if we don“t qualify for the quarter-finals, I feel it“s important to put in a good display. We want to gain some momentum, going into the Twenty20 games. It will give us some meaningful practice and will hopefully lay the platform for another successful T20 campaign.“

Finally, how is Cook feeling with the games continuing to come thick and fast? ‘I“m okay but then I haven“t played in all of the matches likes some of the boys. When the Friends Provident Trophy groups were de-regionalised, it was always going to throw up lots of travelling – I think everyone was aware of that. It“s not too bad if games and tournaments are blocked off because you can focus on either one-day cricket or the County Championship. The difficulty comes when you play a Championship game and then a one-day fixture is bolted on the end. Schedules like that make it difficult for all sides and you struggle to prepare correctly. We recently had pretty much 14 solid days and it culminated in near exhaustion. We had one or two fixtures too many on the back of the list so I think the fixture schedules need to be looked at.“

Play gets underway at 10.45 tomorrow morning and the Kent Spitfires will go with an unchanged 12 for the game: Rob Key (C), Joe Denly, Martin van Jaarsveld, Geraint Jones (W), Justin Kemp, James Tredwell, Azhar Mahmood, Wayne Parnell, Rob Ferley, Simon Cook, Rob Joseph and James Hockley.

Picture courtesy of Anthony Roberts, AR Pics