HERSCHELLE Gibbs knows that Durham face a stern test of their Twenty20 credentials at Old Trafford tonight.
The Dynamos will look to find consistency and a third victory of the season against Lancashire Lightning, who are battling with Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire at the top of the embryonic table.
Durham’s mixed record – combined with the missed opportunities to close out the game at home to the Tykes on Friday – means that they could do with securing a victory tonight, on a track that is usually generous to batsmen.
That should be music to the ears of Gibbs, who hit a tremendous 76 to push Durham to the brink of defeating Yorkshire in Friday’s topsy-turvy encounter.
The veteran South African admits that Durham could not have asked for a more onerous task to try to get their campaign back on track. “Lancashire won’t be easy but then there is nothing easy in the t20 format,” he said.
“It doesn’t get any easier as far as this competition is concerned but it’s normally a good wicket at Lancashire. The boys will be hungry.
“We can’t be too disappointed – yes, a little bit but there’s a long way to go.”
Among the issues that Durham will hope to resolve are the form of captain Dale Benkenstein, who once again failed with the bat on Friday. He was also responsible for the contentious call to go after wickets in the final overs on Friday.
That decision back-fired on them when former Durham man David Miller hit 20 from the last six balls to take him to an unbeaten 73.
Perhaps Durham will need be tighter this evening but Gibbs is adamant that the players and the skipper should not beat themselves up about the disappointing result.
“Of course there are always things to work on,” he said. “The boys have had a good look and a good feel for it now.
“Like I have said previously, partnerships of bowlers in the Derbyshire game won us the game.
“Derbyshire were bowled in the last eight overs for less than 60, which was fantastic. The bowlers won us the game against Derbyshire but then it just got away from us a little bit on Friday.”