For some, Lancashire’s clash with Derbyshire this afternoon could be a case of after the Lord Mayor’s Show. But while there won’t be a fraction of the near 20,000 spectators that packed out Old Trafford for the Roses match on Friday night, the match against the Falcons should prove no less of a challenge.
Derbyshire have taken the T20 Blast extremely seriously this season, appointing a specialist T20 Coach in John Wright and have begun the competition superbly. Two wins from their two fixtures so far have the Falcons sitting pretty in fourth – just a point adrift of leaders Northants having played two games fewer.
Having never reached Finals Day, Derbyshire are determined to turn around their fortunes in the shortest form of the game, as their four-day struggles continue.
For Lancashire it’s been a mixed start to their campaign, a fact acknowledged by batsman Karl Brown on Friday night.
“I don’t think we’ve made a bad start to the competition but it’s not a good start either,” he said.
An opening match win at Durham has been followed by a last-ball loss to Leicestershire before rain meant the Roses clash ended in a tie.
The 2015 champions have shown fleeting glimpses of the potential that their lineup hints they have, with the likes Jos Buttler and Liam Livingstone displaying their prowess with the bat.
But just one win from their opening three games isn’t the start Glen Chapple’s side would have wanted and they certainly won’t want to make it one win from four.
One man shone brightest for Lancashire during that Roses clash, with South African Ryan McLaren starring with both bat and ball. His 34 from 18 balls injected life into the innings after Yorkshire had put the brakes on, and then he picked up two wickets in the two overs he bowled before the rain came. McLaren has been superb in every format for Lancashire this season and the all-rounder is a crucial cog in their lineup.
Seeing off reigning champions Northants and then beating Yorkshire is probably more than Derbyshire dared to hope for to start their competition. At the heart of it, as ever, is Wayne Madsen. The all-rounder has made a quick-fire 37 and 42 in his two innings so far and is also a key man with the ball – often opening the bowling. He’s pivotal to everything Derbyshire do.
Lancashire have named an unchanged squad from the Roses match, and are likely to go in to the game with the same starting eleven. Danny Lamb may be in contention to come in with Tom Bailey’s place looking under threat.
Lancashire Squad: Steven Croft (c), Tom Bailey, Jos Buttler (wk), Karl Brown, Jordan Clark, Kyle Jarvis, Rob Jones, Junaid Khan, Danny Lamb, Arron Lilley, Liam Livingstone, Ryan McLaren, Matthew Parkinson, Stephen Parry, Dane Vilas
Derbyshire have added Hamidullah Qadri to their squad to face Lancashire, with the 16-year-old spinner possibly in line for his T20 debut.
Derbyshire Squad: Gary Wilson (c), Callum Brodrick, Ben Cotton, Matt Critchley, Billy Godleman, Matt Henry, Alex Hughes, Wayne Madsen, Hamidullah Qadri, Luis Reece, Ben Slater, Daryn Smit (wk), Imran Tahir, Tom Taylor, Hardus Viljoen
Weather and Conditions
It’s set be a mixture of sunshine and clouds at Old Trafford on Sunday with no rain expected. The pitch on Friday was a cracker to bat on but slowed up as the ball got older. This could be a similar pitch.
Date: July 16th 2017
Ground: Emirates Old Trafford
Umpires: Nigel Cowley, Richard Kettleborough
Odds (SkyBet): Lancashire 8/13, Derbyshire 5/4