Being top at this stage means nothing - Payne
2 August 2018
Gloucestershire head to Sophia Gardens for Friday's game with Glamorgan in the Vitality T20 Blast (6.30pm) with bowler David Payne stressing that the team still has work to do if they are to reach the last eight later this month.
Wednesday's four wicket win against Sussex made it five victories from the opening seven matches, but with seven still to go the man-of-the-match at Hove a lot can still happen in what is the tighter of the two pools.
"Friday is a big game for us, as is the one at Kent on Sunday" said Payne, who took 2-15 on Wednesday night. "It's never easy in the South Group and we need as many wins as we can. I watched Glamorgan's win at Surrey earlier in the week and we can't take them lightly. At the moment we are enjoying winning but we know you can go from being top at this stage to being bottom by the end so we're putting an emphasis on keeping our standards up."
Payne wasn't required with the bat at Hove, where he was down to come in at number 11. He refers to his batting as a "just in case" option - harsh considering his first class average is above 20 - although he admitted there was a sense of relief when Jack Taylor struck the winning boundary.
"Miles Hammond has been good at getting us flying starts and that's crucial when you are chasing a small total" added Payne. "We knew playing Rashid Kahn would be difficult, and the boys had to grit it out against him. It was a nerve wracking one to watch but the boys are confident in each other's abilities and Jack Taylor came in and played his natural game to get us to the winning total."
Certainly it was a smaller score than looked likely at the toss, when Sussex captain Luke Wright decided to bat. It may have been a decision, along with Gloucestershire's bowling in the powerplay, which decided the match.
"It was a blessing in disguise that we saw what the pitch was doing, because it was soon clear that slower balls and cutters were holding in the wicket" Payne concluded. "As bowlers or batsmen, you have to assess and adjust and it was difficult to score when we took the pace off the ball. We adjusted well. Even coming down the hill just about every ball from Andrew Tye was a slower ball."
"I saw a stat the other day that there had been eight or nine wicket maidens in the competition this year, and so for Andrew and I to each get one in the same game was amazing."
As far as selection is concerned, head coach Richard Dawson will take a squad of 14 to Cardiff, with Chris Dent, Graeme van Buuren and Matt Taylor giving Gloucestershire different options should they need them.
Klinger (c), Hammond, Cockbain, Howell, Noema-Barnett, Higgins, J.Taylor, Roderick, Tye, Smith, Payne, Dent, van Buuren, M. Taylor.
Glamorgan will be without one of their overseas players, Joe Burns, who has a back injury and is returning home. It is also the last match for Usman Khawaja, who is leaving join a training camp ahead of the Australia 'A' tour to India.
You can follow the match via the live scorecard available on the website, or via Twitter @Gloscricket.
Ball by ball commentary is also available on the BBC Sport website