After a successful night in their first home T20 last week, Derbyshire will be determined to continue that winning feeling as they welcome Durham tonight. Durham Jets, however, have had a very successful tournament so far and will want to make up for last week’s loss at Trent Bridge.
Yet another overseas player appears for the Falcons this week, as Big Bash bowler Nathan Rimmington finally makes his debut for the side. The Australian bowler is one of the most successful on the Australian domestic T20 circuit and is particularly known as a death bowler.
Hashim Amla, who was key in last week’s victory, has moved on but Tillakaratne Dilshan remains. He and Amla worked together at the top of the order and were central to the Falcons victory.
Durham are leaving Graham Onions at home this week and are missing Calum MacLeod and Mark Wood to international fixtures. They have been boosted, however, by the return of Chris Rushworth who has sat out a couple of matches with a stiff back.
Even more important for the Jets, though, is the return of Ben Stokes who has been given the go-ahead to play from the England selectors.
Tonight’s visitors sit atop the North Group table, but their tournament has not been perfect. They have succumbed twice in their five matches and both times to East Midlands sides. The presence of players such as Rushworth, Stokes and veteran Paul Collingwood make the side look very strong.
Derbyshire hover near to the bottom of the table, struggling yet again to get to grips with the shortest format, but they have fewer games than the Jets. There’s little doubt, however, that the Falcons’ confidence will be high after beating Lancashire last week.
Tillakaratne Dilshan stepped in front of his new home crowd last week and, alongside fellow overseas opener, Hashim Amla set up the Falcons for a victorious run chase. Dilshan’s 38 runs, with four fours and one six in the mix, was fluid and professional and exactly what Derbyshire need at the top of the order.
Returning to his home county this week, Ben Stokes brings with him his international experience and will boost the side with both the bat and the ball. On a break from his England duties, the versatile Stokes could be the perfect counter to the Falcons’ experienced overseas players.
Nathan Rimmington is finally available for the Falcons, having been held back thus far by a finger injury. Wayne Madsen, Alex Hughes and Jonathan Clare are still unavailable because of injury and David Wainwright is rested this week, replaced in the 13 man squad by Greg Cork.
Derbyshire squad: Wes Durston (c), Greg Cork, Ben Cotton, Tillakartne Dilshan, Scott Elstone, Billy Godleman, Chesney Hughes, Tom Knight, Tony Palladino, Tom Poynton (wk), Nathan Rimmington, Shiv Thakor, Wayne White
Durham welcome back Ben Stokes, who has been on England duty, but are unable to make use of his England team mate, Mark Wood. Wood is believed to have a slight injury concern and the ECB have insisted he be rested. Chris Rushworth returns after missing two matches with a bad back. Callum MacLeod is away on Scotland duty and Graham Onions also misses out.
Durham squad: Mark Stoneman (c), Usman Arshad, Scott Borthwick, Graham Clark, Paul Collingwood, Paul Coughlin, John Hastings, Keaton Jennings, Gordon Muchall, Phil Mustard (wk), Ryan Pringle, Micahel Richardson, Chris Rushworth, Ben Stokes
Date: 5th June 2015
Ground: The 3aaa County Ground, Derby
Umpires: Russell Evans & Alex Wharf
Odds (SkyBet): Derbyshire 11/10, Durham 8/11
Weather and conditions
Derby has been blessed with pleasant weather in the last few days and today is no exception. Some cloud cover through the day is set to clear just in time for tonight’s game.