Friday night sees the return of T20 Blast cricket to the 3aaa County Ground with the Derbyshire Falcons welcoming the Leicestershire Foxes for their first home game of the season. Both sides have played two games and have one victory a piece, the Foxes a crushing victory over The Yorkshire Vikings and The Falcons winning their opening game in an equally crushing manner over last season’s champions Lancashire Lightning.
They have both also suffered disappointing results and both to Northants, Leicestershire losing under Duckworth/Lewis and Derbyshire not being able to defend 195. Friday night will see both sides looking to bounce back from these results under these lights and get their seasons back on track and build momentum.
It may seem strange to say that both sides need to get their T20 seasons back on track, but in this format every game is vital to ensure qualification for the quarter finals and give them the best possible chance of progressing to the promised land of Finals Day, where Derbyshire have never been and from which the Foxes have been absent from since 2011, when they won the whole shahbang.
Both sides will be thinking they will not have to change much to bounce back from their losses, however, and if the pitch is a good one and the sides continue to bat as they have then the runs should flow and it should be a very entertaining game, well worth a trip to the 3aaa County Ground on Friday night to watch this game.
The Key Man for Derbyshire this game is Chesney Hughes, the attacking batsmen, who can bat anywhere in the order will be looking to give the Falcons’ innings impetus wherever he bats. He is also as valuable with the ball in hand as with the bat, providing his spinning darts, picking up wickets and keeping the run rate down also.
Kevin O’Brien is key man for the Foxes. As a batsmen he can clear the ropes and devastate a bowling attack, making targets shrink before our eyes and bowlers figures disintegrate in front of them. Equally with his variations when bowling he can make run rates jump up and sneak handy wickets to help control the game; the type of player who, despite being unfashionable, any captain would love to have up his sleeve.
Graeme Welch has named unchanged squad to that which faced Northamptonshire last week. The side includes Hamish Rutherford, James Neesham, Wes Durston and Chesney Hughes all of whom have had a good start to the campaign.
Derbyshire squad: Wes Durston (Captain), Tom Poynton (wicket keeper), Hamish Rutherford, Neil Broom, Wayne Madsen, Jimmy Neesham, Chesney Hughes, Scott Elstone, Alex Hughes, Shiv Thakor, Matt Critchley, Ben Cotton, Andy Carter
The Foxes have named an unchanged 13-man squad for this weekend’s NatWest T20 Blast action. Rob Taylor and James Sykes are in contention alongside the eleven that appeared at Headingley.
Leicestershire squad: Mark Pettini (captain), Niall O’Brien (wicket keepers) Mark Cosgrove, Kevin O’Brien, Umar Akmal, Neil Dexter, Lewis Hill, Tom Wells, Ben Raine, Rob Taylor, Clint McKay, Jigar Naik, James Sykes
Derbyshire Falcons: LW
Leicestershire Foxes: LW
Weather and Conditions
The forecast looks set fair with no rain forecast for Derby until after the game has ended, although there should be a good covering of heavy cloud throughout. This is the first T20 game at home for Derbyshire, however the Championship pitches have been good and produced a lot of runs, we will all be hoping for the same on Friday night.
Date: Friday 3rd June 2016
Ground: 3aaa County Ground, Derby
Umpires: David Millns & Steve O’Shaughnessy
Odds (Sky Bet): Derbyshire Falcons 4/5, Leicestershire Foxes Evens