Nixon set for final fling

Watch every ball from Friends Life t20 Finals Day live on Sky Sports HD1 from 10.30am on Saturday

Last Updated: 26/08/11 4:37pm

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Leicestershire Foxes are aiming to give veteran wicketkeeper Paul Nixon a winning send-off on Friends Life t20 Finals Day at Edgbaston on Saturday.

Nixon, 40, will be bringing the curtain down on a 24-year professional career which has included two spells with the Foxes and 19 ODI appearances for England.

Leicestershire are only the county to have won the competition twice, in 2004 and 2006, and were ever-present at the first four Finals Days.

But they are back this year for the first time since that 2006 victory - which also came at Edgbaston - and have a tough assignment in the opening semi-final against Lancashire Lightning.

Lancashire, in stark contrast to their opponents who are bringing up the rear in LVCC Division Two, are battling for silverware on two fronts as they currently lead the way in Division One.

Niche

The Foxes have been abysmal in four-day and 40-over cricket this season but have found their niche in the shortest format, winning 10 games on the way to second place in the North Group and then chasing down a target of 204 for a three-wicket success over Kent Spitfires in the quarter-final at Grace Road.

In vice-captain Andrew McDonald, they boast the leading run scorer in this year's competition with 563 in 16 innings, while Harry Gurney's 23 wickets make him the most successful seamer.

"I feel like I've had my swansong now and we're at the business end of the season - let's go and win it for Leicestershire," Nixon, who will delay his retirement to play in the Champions League T20 if Leicestershire qualify by reaching the final, told Sky Sports News HD.

On his status as the old man of the team, he added: "It's like being in a boy band at the moment. It's the first time I've seen hair straighteners for a few years I hate to admit.

"We have great fun, the lads keep me young and in tune with life.

"We have a great balance, some experienced guys and some youth as well.

"Claude Henderson has been to Finals Day before, Abdul Razzaq has won with Hampshire and Andrew McDonald has played in the IPL - no bigger stage than that. So we have some calm heads hopefully."

Elusive

Lancashire are the only team left in the competition who have never previously won it.

The Red Rose county's nearest miss came with a final defeat in 2005 and they have also lost two semi-finals and three quarter-finals.

"We have lots of people at the club who have been to Finals Day before," said Lancashire coach Peter Moores, whose side beat Sussex Sharks at Hove by 20 runs in the quarter-final.

"I am looking forward to having a big crowd there and I think the players will as well. You want to be tested as a coach and a player, it's part of the game."

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