Derbyshire come into this game off the back of a four wicket victory over Durham, while Leicestershire arrive in Derby following a 93 run defeat to Nottinghamshire. This may point to Derbyshire as being the form side, and this an easy win for them. However, when you consider Derbyshire won off the penultimate ball chasing a modest 272, while Leicestershire scored 316 chasing a mammoth 409, it changes slightly.
Derbyshire have played three games in the competition, and have won two, where Leicestershire have played two and have a win and a loss to their name – the loss coming against last year’s champions. The two sides are evenly matched and home advantage may well prove to be the deciding factor, with Derbyshire tipped to come out on top in this East Midlands battle.
A win for Derbyshire would see them move on to six points and, if results go their way, top of the table. A win for Leicestershire would move them on to four points and put them right in the mix for the playoff element of the competition.
Sadly with rain forecast for most of the morning and early afternoon, it may be a moot point. Both sides may be taking one point from the fixture, after a day of finding ways to entertain themselves in the Derbyshire changing rooms.
If you had asked many Derbyshire fans at the start of last season if their captain Billy Godleman was a key man in their one day side, they may well have raised a wry smile. Godleman has, however, reinvented himself into an attacking minded and dynamic one day opening batsman. A batsman who can give the innings the impetus required in the one day game, and taking the pressure off his opening partner Ben Slater. When you consider the way his captaincy has developed, Godleman has truly become key to Derbyshire’s improvement and success in the one day game.
In Ben Raine, Leicestershire have a player who can give them the balance that all sides crave, as he can contribute with bat, ball and the field. Raine is a player who bowls fast and is a genuine wicket taking threat, either opening the bowling or coming on at first change. He also contributes lower order runs, which ensure the Foxes can post competitive scores and defend them equally well.
Derbyshire have added young spinner Hamidullah Qadri and wicketkeeper batsman Harvey Hosein to the squad that saw off Durham last timeout. It means they will have a 16 man squad for the visit of Leicestershire. It would be odd to add both of these to the squad and not see at least one of them play. If one is to play I would anticipate Qadri the most likely. He adds extra spinning depth to the side. Although changing a winning side would be a brave move for the home side.
Derbyshire squad: B Godleman (c), Brodrick, M. Critchley, H Hosein, A Hughes, W Madsen, D Olivier, H Qadri, R Rampaul, L Reece, S Sharif, B Slater, D Smit (wk), H. Viljoen, D Wheeldon, G Wilson
Leicestershire name an unchanged 13 man squad from last time out, with Ateeq Javid and Lewis Hill, the two who missed out last game, keeping their places in the squad. The bowlers took some damage on Wednesday and some may need a break, so Javid may well come in to freshen up the bowling line up whilst adding depth to the batting order.
Leicestershire squad: V Aaron, C Ackermann, M Carberry, M Cosgrove, N Dexter, N Eckersley, G Griffiths, L Hill, P Horton, A Javid, C Parkinson, B Raine, T Wells.
Weather and conditions
It could be a frustrating day for Derbyshire and Leicestershire, with rain forecast for a fair portion of the day, so its coats and hats weather I’m afraid. If there isn’t too much rain then the Derby pitch has offered runs so far this season, so a shortened game could be a whole lot of fun if we get the chance.
Date: Friday 25th May 2018
Ground: 3aaa County Ground, Derby.
Odds (SkyBet): Derbyshire 8/11 Leicestershire 11/10