Durham were the last side to visit the 3aaa County Ground, so the teams will know each other well. At least if they left anything in the changing rooms it should still be there. That visit was for the drawn Specsavers County Championship game. This time the clothes will be coloured and the balls will be white, as the Royal London One Day Cup returns to Derby.
After two games Derbyshire have won one and lost one, vanquishing Warwickshire and succumbing to Worcestershire, whereas Durham are yet to vanquish anyone. They were soundly drubbed by both Yorkshire and Lancashire, conceding over 300 runs both times and not managing 200 runs themselves in either game.
Derbyshire scored over 300 in their victory at Edgbaston, and will be hoping to do the same again today.
Today’s fixture marks the start of three home games for the Falcons, who will be hoping to make the most of home advantage and push themselves towards the top of a very congested Northern group. Everyone bar their visitors are on two points, so three wins would greatly enhance Derbyshire’s chances of reaching the playoff stages of the competition.
Durham are currently bottom, but the congested nature of the group means one win puts them right back in the mix. Performances in the previous rounds and form, however, would suggest this is unlikely. The hosts should be the side who emerge from the Derby sunshine victorious.
When people talk about 50 over cricket they often talk about the “boring middle overs”. In Matt Critchley Derbyshire have a player that can put the excitement into those overs. With bat in hand he can score quickly, and as a clean striker of the ball he can clear the ropes and ensure the scoring rate stays high. With ball in hand, the England Lion not only offers control but also a genuine wicket taking threat, largely thanks to his time in Australia working with Stuart MacGill. If Critchley fires then Derbyshire’s chances are greatly enhanced.
If there is a man more key to Durham’s success than Paul Collingwood then I am yet to find one. England’s only captain to win a major white ball trophy still has the potential to score quickly. He has been opening in the competition so far and, as ever, is the rock around which Durham can build their innings. With the ball he offers control and a tight nagging line, which can frustrate opposition batsmen and while a bit of nip may have gone, he can still be a dangerous option for skipper Latham.
Derbyshire have named an unchanged 14 man squad and are expected to name the same starting eleven from the two previous fixtures, with Broderick, Viljoen and Wheeldon missing out. If there is a change to be made, Olivier could make way for Wilson after only bowling six overs last match. The change would give Godleman added depth in batting order while Hughes and Reece would pick up the slack in the bowling department.
Derbyshire squad: B Godleman (c), Brodrick , M. Critchley, A Hughes, W Madsen, D Olivier, R Rampaul, L Reece, S Sharif, B Slater, D Smit (wk), H Viljoen, D Wheeldon, G Wilson
Durham make one change from the squad that lost heavily last time out. The ever reliable Chris Rushworth returns to the squad. With two defeats in two, coach Jon Lewis may well be looking for changes and he could do far worse than bringing in Rushworth. The other potential changes could see Essex loanee Matthew Dixon or Cameron Steel come in.
Durham squad: T Latham (c), G Clark, P Collingwood, M Dixon, G Harding, S Poynter (wk), R Pringle, M Richardson, N Rimmington, C Rushworth, W Smith, C Steel, J Weighell
Weather and conditions
The sun is out, the sky is blue, there’s not a cloud forecast to spoil the view. But, if the pitch is anything like the one for last game at Derby, at it will be raining sixes at the 3aaa County Ground. If you’re heading to the game, bring your sun cream and get ready to enjoy a flat track and plenty of runs.
Date: Wednesday 23rd May 2018
Ground: 3aaa County Ground, Derby.
Odds (SkyBet): Derbyshire 8/15 Durham 6/4