ALAN Willows is looking forward to a classic game of cricket tomorrow when his Dorset side lock horns with reigning one-day champions Berkshire at Dean Park.
Due to the recent wet weather, the race to reach the quarter-finals of the MCCA Knockout Trophy has now come down to the last two group games and the Dorset coach is confident his men can rise to the challenge.
Willows said: “It’s not just Dorset that has been affected by the recent weather a lot of games have been called off in all the groups, with everyone patiently waiting to put on performances to reach the quarter finals.
“No one wants to get through without playing, they want to get through on merit.
“Our group is one of the strongest, if not the strongest, and if we can get through it would gives us a lot of confidence.
“We are certainly in good shape to do it and although it has not been easy to get out and practice much recently, we are raring to go and looking forward to a classic match against the reigning champions.
“It’s almost going to be like a pre-season game due to the lack of cricket we have had but Berkshire are in the same position and with the huge respect both sides have each other it should be a fascinating day of action.”
Commenting on the current state of the Dean Park wicket, Willows added: “It should be okay. It’s always been a great ground to play on and the groundsman Derek Tapper is once again doing a fantastic job.
“The forecast looks good so hopefully we won’t have any problems where that is concerned.”
Berkshire, who beat Hertfordshire in last year’s final at Lord’s, currently top the table courtesy of an eight-wicket victory over Wales MC – one of only two games that have been completed in group four so far.
Willows said: “Being the reigning champions, they are going to be strong but we have a strong side too and I know my team will give their all.
“Sadly, we have had to leave out Glyn Treagus this weekend, which is disappointing for all concerned.
“Glyn has been a fantastic servant to Dorset cricket but due to age restriction we had to put in a team under the age of 26, which unfortunately has cost him his place.”
It is still unclear whether ex-England international Shaun Udal will turn out for Berkshire. Willows went on to add: “I’m not sure of his availability as he has been commentating a lot on the IPL recently but like I said, whoever they put out, they will be a tough proposition.”
Dorset: Nick Park, Aaron Williams, Josh Lawrence, Darren Cowley, Tom Hicks (c), Masoor Khan, Chris Park (wk), Steffan Jones, Mark Wolstenholme, Scott Barlow, Ed Denham, Ciaran Quinn. Scorer: Chris Drew