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CRICKET: Banbury ready for their big day
10:20am Thursday 12th September 2013 in Sport
OXFORDSHIRE will be cheering on Banbury’s cricketers tomorrow when they compete in ECB National Club Twenty20 finals day at the Kia Oval.
The county’s highest-ranked club are hoping for a good travelling support as they look to shine at the Test match venue, where the action is live on Sky Sports.
Banbury take on holders Wimbledon in the first semi-final at 12.30pm, with Chester-Le-Street playing Ormskirk at 3.25pm.
The final will start at 7.10pm.
“I would say it is the biggest day in our history, certainly in my time,” said captain Jimmy Phillips.
“It will be fantastic to play at a place where England have won the Ashes.”
Banbury will play in yellow kit sponsored by local firm Hawkins Group who won an online auction, while all matches will be played with a pink ball.
Their preparations have included catching practice under the floodlights at nearby Banbury Rugby Club, which will come in handy should they make the final.
But Phillips, 30, stressed: “We don’t want to allow the occasion to get the better of us.
“We are trying to keep things pretty much the same as we do for a normal game.
“We still want to execute our skills the way we always do.”
At the other end of the age scale, the tournament has seen the emergence of 19-year-old Justin Lambden with some telling batting under pressure.
“Just getting into the first team this year has been really good,” he said.
“Now to be in the national finals is amazing. Not a lot of players are able to say they have played at the Oval.
“I felt more nerves and pressure when I have been watching matches, but when I have got out there I have just tried to play my cricket.”
As for their chances, he added: “We are such a tight group of players. I think anything is possible.
“We feel like we have earned our place there and can go on and win it.”
Phillips has named a 13-man squad for tomorrow, with his brother Ed and Chris Thompson added to the XI that beat Peterborough in the quarter-finals.
Banbury: from Haupt, Hawkes, Cater, L Sabin, West, Ryan, Tew, Lambden, Blanchard, Wright, J Phillips (capt), E Phillips, Thompson.
Follow live coverage of Banbury’s big day at oxfordmail.co.uk/sport
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