In what is set to be a warm evening that is high on T20 atmosphere, two struggling sides will meet at Trent Bridge tonight for a late tournament local derby. For the visitors from the other end of the A52, the game has been reduced to nothing more than a matter of pride; for the hosts, still within a sniff of the knockout stage, it’s a must win affair.
Two weeks ago, Derbyshire shocked a few by beating near neighbours, and old rivals, Notts Outlaws. The hosts, boosted by the arrival of new overseas player Hamish Rutherford and the recent return from injury of Wayne Madsen, posted a huge 201 runs in their twenty overs. In reply, the Outlaws put up a good fight but were held back by the Falcons’ bowling attack and fell well short of their target.
A first division side with a long history of success, the Outlaws are frequently seen as favourites in this fixture. T20 is a funny old game, though, where anything can happen.
The Falcons sit on the bottom of the table, without a hope of progression to the second round of the tournament. They’ve had some tough matches this year, but they’ve also had the occasional fantastic one, including the reverse of this fixture. With the pressure off, there’s no reason to assume Derbyshire can’t perform again tonight.
The Outlaws have just a faint whiff of reaching the knockout stage, but they need to win the rest of their games starting with this one. James Taylor is a key figure in the side and he returns this week. Alex Hales, who made 47 in the unsuccessful chase against Worcestershire last week, is a powerful top order batter who will punish any sloppy bowling – something Derbyshire have been guilty of.
The Outlaws are facing their foe in a must-win match and, although they were beaten in the return fixture, they will not let that hit their confidence. The Falcons have shown that they have it in them to force an upset and, in truth, there’s not so much difference in the quality of the sides. Either way, a Friday night at Trent Bridge is always busy and always atmospheric and there’s no doubt some fine cricket will be on display.
Having been missing from the side with a hamstring injury, James Taylor will be determined to return to the side with a bang. Before that blow, he was making decent runs in T20, not least the innings that came against Northants, as he and Patel put on a 95 run partnership to chase down 173. Taylor is very capable of such a performance on any given day. His return will boost the troops at Trent Bridge.
He might be one of the Falcons’ oldest players, but Wes Durston is also one of the team’s most reliable, particularly in the shorter format. Stepping in as T20 captain this season, he has many times been the centre of a Derbyshire innings and is a capable spin bowler to boot. Incredibly experienced, once Durston gets settled he can be difficult to remove. He’s bound to be a target for the Notts bowlers.
James Taylor returns from injury to captain his side once again. Luke Fletcher and Andy Carter are sidelined with injuries; Brett Hutton and Will Gidman are named in their place.
Notts Outlaws squad: James Taylor (c), Chris Read (wk), Jake Ball, Dan Christian, Will Gidman, Harry Gurney, Alex Hales, Brett Hutton, Michael Lumb, Steven Mullaney, Samit Patel, Greg Smith, Riki Wessels and Sam Wood
After some excellent performances for the Second XI, Derbyshire include Greg Cork in their squad. Billy Godleman should also feature, as Wayne White is left out.
Derbyshire Falcons squad: Wes Durston (c), Hamish Rutherford, Chesney Hughes, Ben Slater, Wayne Madsen, Billy Godleman, Alex Hughes, Scott Elstone, Shiv Thakor, Tom Poynton (wk), Tom Knight, Greg Cork, Nathan Rimmington
Weather and conditions:
It’s going to be a warm day in Nottingham, so there will be no delay in proceedings and plenty of atmosphere.
Date: Friday 10th July
Ground: Trent Bridge
Umpires: Richard Kettleborough & Graham Lloyd
Odds (SkyBet): Nottinghamshire 4/9, Derbyshire 7/4