Derbyshire Falcons host their first Natwest T20 Bast match of the season tonight, with the Lancashire Lightning in town, and they will be hoping home ground advantage can give their campaign a boost. The Lightning had a good season in 2014 and their aim will be to bounce back quickly from last week’s defeat.
Derbyshire came into the 2015 T20 campaign determined to improve on last year’s disappointing season. With two losses from two matches, however, it’s not going as planned. Tonight they are on home ground for the first time and if ever a home crowd advantage needed to take effect, it’s now.
The side’s batting has been an issue in the first two rounds and the absence of Wayne Madsen through injury has not helped. Things could change this week, though. Tillakaratne Dilshan has arrived in Derby and will be available to play for his new side.
Lancashire Lightning have one win and one very tight defeat to their name. After topping the North Division and then reaching the final last season, they will be determined to carry on their good form.
Ashwell Prince had a good night in the narrow defeat to Durham last week, top scoring on 78 for the side, and there’s a new face in the Red Rose side to boost the bowling. Australian quick James Faulkner has finished his IPL stint and joins the Lightning for the first time tonight.
With the TV cameras pointed their way, some big names will gather on both sides at Derby tonight. Derbyshire love playing on home turf and have defeated Lancashire there before, but toppling a Lancashire side with Prince, Faulkner and the memory of a Final’s Day loss in their swag will be tough.
In their two defeats thus far this tournament, Derbyshire’s batting was their biggest issue. Against Leicestershire, they managed to post a respectable figure due largely to the batting prowess of Chesney Hughes. He didn’t injure any children at Grace road this time around, but his 59 run innings was peppered with enough 4s and 6s to give the Falcons some hope.
Lancashire’s defeat to Durham last week was by just 16 runs, but it would’ve been much worse without the hard work of Ashwell Prince. Prince’s 78 runs from 51 balls made up more than half of the Lightning’s failed reply to Durham. This week’s hosts having almost as many bowling issues as they do batting ones, so Prince will be looking to capitalise.
Derbyshire have both Hashim Amla and Tillakaratne Dilshan available to them this week. Other changes to the squad that was defeated at Grace road, include resting Mark Footitt and Greg Cork, while Tony Palladino and Wayne White are named in the squad. Wayne Madsen, Nathan Rimmington, Alex Hughes and Jonathan Clare are all unavailable due to injury.
Derbyshire squad: Wes Durston (c), Tom Poynton (wk), Hashim Amla, Ben Cotton, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Scott Elstone, Billy Godleman, Chesney Hughes, Tom Knight, Tony Palladino, Shiv Thakor, David Wainwright, Wayne White.
Lancashire bring James Faulkner into the squad while Tom Smith, who has been out of the side with an injury, returns this week and has his eyes on a milestone. He needs just 56 runs to reach 2000 T20 runs for his side. James Anderson and Jos Buttler are unavailable due to their commitments with the England.
Lancashire squad: Tom Smith (c), Tom Bailey, Karl Brown, Jordan Clark, Steven Croft, Alex Davies (wk), George Edwards, James Faulkner, Paul Horton, Rob Jones, Arron Lilley, Liam Livingstone, Stephen Parry, Ashwell Prince
Date: 29th May 2015
Ground: The 3aaa County Ground, Derby
Umpires: Neil Bainton, Peter Hartley & Jeremy Lloyds
Odds (SkyBet): Derbyshire 11/10, Lancashire 8/11
Weather and conditions
There’s rain expected during the day but it should, very considerately, clear up in time for the match.