Jos Buttler (9/4 Top Lancashire Run Scorer) says getting back into T20 mode for the Vitality Blast Finals Day “will not be a problem” after enjoying Test success with England this summer.
This wicketkeeper, alongside Keaton Jennings, has been cleared to play for Lancashire Lightning at Edgbaston – bringing his experience of five previous Finals Day appearances to the Red Rose dressing room.
“It will be my sixth as a player – three with Somerset and now three with Lancashire, and I’ve experienced bitter defeat and jubilation,” said Buttler.
“It’s always one of those occasions when one guy can have a day out and upset all your plans, so it’s very important for everyone to turn up on the day.”
Buttler made only 16 runs in two innings for the Lightning in this year’s competition, including a duck against Kent in the quarter-final, but he contributed 451 runs at an average of over 50 in 12 matches last season.
“Slotting back into the Lancashire dressing room won’t be a problem,” he added.
“There’s lots of experience in there, including some of the guys who won it in 2015, but also some really exciting young players – especially Matt Parkinson, who has bowled fantastically in the T20s and is our leading wicket-taker. I’m really excited to see him on the big stage and he’s a guy who relishes it.”
Worcestershire (11/4 Outright Winner – Vitality Blast) can include England all-rounder Moeen Ali against Lancashire (5/2) in Saturday’s first semi-final but will be without Australian batsman Callum Ferguson, who steered the Rapids to their quarter-final success over Gloucestershire.
His unbeaten 64 was crucial as the Rapids chased down a modest target of 137 after Brett D’Oliveira (8/1 Top Worcestershire Wicket Taker) reduced the visitors top order to rubble with figures of 4-26 off his four overs at New Road.
“We will go there looking to play to the best of our ability but also to enjoy it come what may – we have a chance,” said Rapids coach Kevin Sharp.
“The quarter-final was a tense day. There was a lot of relief. It was a low-scoring game and a scrap, we were not at our best with the bat initially but Callum Ferguson played a wonderful innings. He was calm and composed and that was a big factor in us getting the result.”