After falling victim to the Brendon McCullum storm at Edgbaston on Friday night, Derbyshire kick off the Chesterfield festival against Northampton on Sunday knowing anything but a win will end their qualification hopes.
Sitting bottom of the table with only three wins from their 10 games so far this season and a four point gap to make up, Derbyshire will realistically need to win all four of their remaining games and even then could still miss out depending on other results.
Northants, meanwhile, slipped to sixth in the table after not playing on Friday but know a win in Chesterfield will see them climb back into the top four, and possiblu third as the 2013 Champions look to make the quarter-finals once again.
The loss of David Willey, injured in a freak collision with Jack Shantry at Worcester last Friday, is a huge blow to their hopes however, with Shahid Afridi having also departed denting the Steelbacks’ firepower.
Saturday’s defeat to bogey side Nottinghamshire ended a five match unbeaten streak, during which Northants have developed a knack of winning close games, and they will hope to get back on track by completing the double over a Derbyshire side they comfortable beat by seven wickets at Wantage Road last month.
All three of Derbyshire’s victories so far in the competition have come on home soil and they’ll be hoping the move to Chesterfield will keep that run going, with a game to follow against Yorkshire next Sunday.
Wes Durston played the perfect captain’s knock in the sides’ clash at Northampton, carrying his bat for an unbeaten 77 that was the cornerstone of his sides total of 167, however the opener can also play the aggressor as well, and his canny off spin ensure he is a key cog in the Derbyshire operation.
Northants’ Richard Levi has shown sparks of life in the t20 blast so far without producing the truly big innings just yet. In form in the Championship as well, the big South African likes outgrounds having smashed a century at Cheltenham last year and will target the small boundaries of Queen’s Park.
Derbyshire have named an unchanged squad from Friday night’s defeat at Edgbaston, with Ben Cotton and Will Davis still side-lined with injury. Ben Slater was the one from the 12 to miss out last night and could do so again if the hosts opt to stick with the same 11.
Derbyshire Falcons squad: Wes Durston (captain), Scott Elstone, Alex Hughes, Chesney Hughes, Tom Knight, Wayne Madsen, Tom Poynton (wicketkeeper), Nathan Rimmington, Hamish Rutherford, Ben Slater, Shiv Thakor, Wayne White
Northants’ small squad is down to the bare bones following injuries to David Willey, Rob Newton and Stephen Peters, although the later would be unlikely to feature in t20. In Willey’s absence Olly Stone returned to the side at Trent Bridge and with few options, Northants are likely to stick to the same side once again.
Northants Steelbacks squad: TBC
Weather and conditions
The heatwave of the past few days is set to come to a crashing halt on Sunday with cloud expected and the possible for some showers in the afternoon which could affect play, while temperature will be a much cooler 21 degrees.
Date: 5th June 2015
Venue: Queens Park, Chesterfield.
Umpires: Paul Baldwin & Martin Saggers
Odds (via SkyBet): Derbyshire 11/10, Northants 8/11