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Somerset aim to focus on just the win

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: August 20, 2014

By STEVE COTTON

Spinner Max Waller is back in the Somerset ranks after a quad muscle problem  PICTURE: GARRY BOWDEN/PINNACLE

Spinner Max Waller is back in the Somerset ranks after a quad muscle problem PICTURE: GARRY BOWDEN/PINNACLE

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Dave Nosworthy wants his Somerset side to put all other variables and permutations to one side this evening and focus solely on beating Surrey.

Somerset head into today's Royal London One-Day Cup Group B finale needing to win to have any chance of advancing to the quarter-finals.

But reaching the last eight is not as straightforward for Somerset as simply winning their own match.

If they can end a four-match losing streak in limited-overs games at The Oval, they will then be relying on results elsewhere if they are to advance.

If Warwickshire beat Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge, a win alone would be enough for Somerset to progress as they would have won more group matches than Notts.

But even if Notts win their game, Somerset can still go through by virtue of catching Durham – but only if they make up a run-rate deficit of 0.114.

"I think we know exactly what we have to do," said director of cricket Nosworthy. "The simple thing is that we have to win, first and foremost. If we don't win, all the other permutations become irrelevant. But, if we do win, then there are two key permutations – the Notts-Warwickshire result, or the run-rate equation in terms of catching Durham.

"In that case, we will have to improve our run-rate by a fair few points. We will be in touch with our statistician during the game – and I will have my own calculator out.

"But the most obvious permutation is that we have to win."

Somerset have named a 14-man squad that will travel to the capital for today's match, which begins at 2pm, with Max Waller back in the ranks after a quad muscle problem. Waller – who has missed all of Somerset's 50-over campaign to date – and Jack Leach are named ahead of George Dockrell, while seamer Jamie Overton will also come into consideration.

And, whichever players earn selection, Nosworthy acknowledged they must improve on their two earlier appearances at The Oval this season.

Somerset were well beaten by Middlesex and Surrey in Twenty20 cricket at the venue – and were also defeated there by Surrey in last season's T20 quarter-final.

"We know we have played pretty poorly there over the last year or so – even when we played there against Middlesex we were well beaten," said Nosworthy.

"So, on top of wanting to fight for a place in the quarter-finals, The Oval is a place where we want to turn around our recent form and get across the line. We want to put the record straight and control things as much as we can. Surrey have not won a game in this competition this season – but we know they are a much better side than maybe their results and performances would suggest."

The 50-over Royal London Cup represents Somerset's only realistic chance of silverware this season, after they fell 35 points behind LV= County Championship leaders Warwickshire – with three matches to go – following this week's 215-run home defeat against Warwickshire.

"We were outplayed in all spheres of the game – batting, bowling and fielding – but this is a different competition and we are still in the mix, hanging in there, and we need to be up for it" said Nosworthy.

Somerset (from): M Trescothick (capt), A Barrow, N Compton, L Gregory, T Groenewald, J Hildreth, J Leach, C Meschede, J Myburgh, C Overton, J Overton, A Thomas, P Trego, M Waller.

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