Durham 2nd XI head coach Neil Killeen is aiming to go one better ahead of tomorrow’s T20 Finals Day at Arundel.
Killeen has named a strong 12-man squad to travel south as the side aim to go further than last year’s semi-final defeat to Kent.
Durham topped the Zone A table, tied on points with Warwickshire with a better net run rate, and face current holders Middlesex in the first semi-final while Somerset face Warwickshire for a place in the final.
And Killeen acknowledges the importance of such days in young players’ development but also backs his side to execute their skills on the day.
“The lads have done it well so far in this competition and hopefully they can put what they’ve practiced on display,” he said. “It’s learning those disciplines that you need to go out and perform in front of a crowd in a first team game, but it is a bit of a process.
“We’ve put runs on the board and scored big runs in this competition. The lads up top – [Adam] Hickey, [Phil] Mustard, [Calum] MacLeod – have done really well so far, Stu Poynter has done well too, unfortunately he’s away with Ireland so he’s missing this.
“We’ve got runs on the board and then defended it well, good disciplines at the start of the innings and very good skills at the end.”
A number of the travelling squad have played First XI cricket this season including Phil Mustard, who hit a match-winning 75* against the Leicestershire Foxes on Sunday, while there are places for youngsters Asher Hart & George Harding.
The side will be led by Adam Hickey and Killeen sees it as another excellent opportunity for the all-rounder to further his development.
“It’s a good chance for him, we’ve got a lot of senior players in the side but it’s we thought it was a good opportunity for Adam to take charge. He did it last week at Notts and did it very well, so tomorrow is another challenge for him,” he said.
“All the lads who have played pretty regularly throughout this competition are the ones we are taking down, as well as one or two of the younger guys who deserve to have the opportunity to be involved in Finals Day.”
Also included is England under-19 call-up Josh Coughlin and Killeen praised the 18-year-old’s “thoroughly well deserved” promotion to national honours.
“To be selected for your country at any age is a great honour, great for him and for the club.
“He has performed very well all season, come into the Second team and done exceptionally well, so we hope he continues that for the rest of the summer.”
Updates will be available on our Twitter page throughout the day and a match report will be on the club website.
Squad: Adam Hickey (c), Phil Mustard (wk), Calum MacLeod, Gordon Muchall, Jack Burnham, Usman Arshad, Gurman Randhawa, Asher Hart, Jamie Harrison, Josh Coughlin, George Harding, Gurjit Sandhu