Leicestershire’s Royal London One-Day Cup campaign started with two wins from three, but two defeats since have left their hopes of a knockout place hanging by a thread as they host already eliminated Northamptonshire at Grace Road on Friday night.
Northants came into the white ball season on the back of a positive start in the Championship, and as T20 Champions and 50 over quarter-finalists last year, but Wednesday’s 164 run defeat at home to Yorkshire was their fourth loss in six, with only one win and Alex Wakely’s sides’ 50 over season will end next Tuesday.
Leicestershire, meanwhile, with three games remaining still retain hope, albeit a slim one, of a top three place and a spot in the play-off, and the Foxes will likely need to win all three.
If they are to do so they will need to regain the batting form of the first three games that saw totals of 311-7, 319 (in a losing cause chasing 362) and 363-7 but since then, scores of 211 and 217 have easily been chased down by Durham and Nottinghamshire respectively.
Northants have had a campaign of missed opportunities. In games against Worcestershire, Lancashire and Yorkshire they have bowled themselves into a strong position by the midway point of the first innings, only to let it slip, and despite chasing a record score of 325 to beat Lancashire in their only win, have been unable to repeat that feat.
Ben Duckett has had a cooler start to 2017 than his summer in the sun last year and, having missed three games carrying the drinks for England, he will be keen to make an impression in what could be his last two 50 over games of the season, and will continue at the top of the order.
Cameron Delport signalled his danger in a second XI game against Northants before the One-Day Cup got underway, striking 150 in a 50 over contest, and after two games where top order failures have led to under par totals, Delport and fellow opener Mark Pettini will be key.
Rob Sayers is ruled out of the Leicestershire squad having injured a hand against Nottinghamshire at the weekend. Colin Ackermann returns, whilst Ben Raine, Neil Dexter and Richard Jones are all still absent.
Leicestershire squad: Clink McKay, Colin Akermann, Aadil Ali, Zak Chappell, Mark Cosgrove, Cameron Delport, Ned Eckersley, George Griffiths, Lewis Hill, Dieter Klein, Callum Parkinson, Mark Pettini, Jamie Sykes, Tom Wells.
With Northants already eliminated, skipper Alex Wakely and Josh Cobb have both been rested, whilst Richard Gleeson also won’t make the trip as his knee injury continues to be managed. Max Holden, Tom Sole and Saif Zaib are included in a 14 man squad.
Northants squad: Muhammed Azharullha, Nathan Buck, Steven Crook, Ben Duckett, Richard Gleeson, Max Holden, Rory Kleinveldt, Richard Levi, Adam Rossington, Rob Newton, Ben Sanderson, Tom Sole, Graeme White, Saif Zaib.
Weather and conditions
Showers are forecast throughout Friday evening, so it could lead to a frustrating night at Grace Road, whilst with cloud cover and a breeze it will also feel on the chilly side with temperatures in the early teens.
Date: Friday May 13
Venue: Fisher County Ground, Leicester
Umpires: Michael Baldwin, Alex Wharf
Odds: Leicestershire 4/5, Northamptonshire 1/1