If you’re a cricket fan in the East Midlands there’s only one place to be on the last day of the Royal London One Day Cup and that’s at Trent Bridge for the local derby between Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.
It’s winner takes all, as whoever emerges from under the Trent Bridge floodlights at the end of the game victorious will, in all probability, qualify for the knock out stages of the competition.
If Nottinghamshire win they will definitely qualify for the latter stages, Yorkshire’s result and run rate will determine whether they finish 2nd or 3rd, if they lose however they can put their one day kits away for another season as they will be out.
Derbyshire’s chances of reaching the next phase of the competition would also end with defeat and know they must win. If they do win they will also need either Yorkshire or Warwickshire to lose or Worcestershire to lose with a big net run rate swing towards Derbyshire.
Both sides have had mixed seasons in the competition so far, having won four games, making some massive scores but also getting bowled out for low scores when chasing. I would expect whoever wins the toss tomorrow to bat first, set a big total and look to defend it with their bowling attacks, both of which include real international pedigree.
Nottinghamshire will start the game as firm favourites, they are at home and have a side packed with international stars and it is easy to see why they will have the favourites tag. However Derbyshire have played some excellent cricket in the 50-over form this season and will not be intimidated by their hosts. The result could be a lot closer than the bookies and a lot of pundits are predicting.
In modern 50-over cricket scores of 300, 350 and even 400 are the norm and in Alex Hales Nottinghamshire have a player who can mount the kind of assault on opposition bowling attacks that can secure the aforementioned big totals. Hales has played twice since his return from the IPL, only scoring 34 runs, and he’ll hope that third time is a charm to score that big total to help gain Notts the win they so desperately need which would see them in the knock out stages of the competition.
This is a high-pressure, must-win game for Derbyshire and in these type of games you need your experienced and big name players to perform, luckily for Derbyshire they have such a player in Wayne Madsen. Madsen has been the most consistent and prolific Derbyshire batsman over recent history and they will be looking for more runs in this game. He has had a lean tournament so far this season, scoring only 194 runs at 27.71 and he will be hoping to put that right against Notts and propel his side to the knock out stages. His bowling has also been vital for captain Billy Godleman to call upon and if Madsen fires at Trent Bridge with bat and ball then Derbyshire’s chances of progressing will be greatly improved.
Nottinghamshire will be very happy to have Alex Hales back in their camp following his spell in the IPL, add in Jake Ball, Samit Patel and Ross Taylor and it adds real quality to the 13-man squad Peter Moores has named. Notts will also be hoping that youngster Matt Carter can continue his fine spell since breaking into the first team this season. The only down side for the Nottinghamshire side is the absence of Harry Gurney through injury and Stuart Broad who has not been released by England to play in the game.
Nottinghamshire squad: S Mullaney (c), J Ball, J Blatherwick, M Carter, L Fletcher, A Hales, M Milnes, T Moores (wk), C Nash, S Patel, B Root, R Taylor, R Wessels
Derbyshire will take a 14-man squad down the A52 for the match, with Scotland international Safyaan Sharif away on international duty and Luis Reece absent with a broken metatarsal the only omissions from the squad. Ten names for the side pretty much pick themselves for the starting XI, with Wheeldon and Gleadal likely to miss out and then Qadri and Broderick looking set to battle for the last spot, and the final decision will no doubt come down to how the pitch looks. If it is dry expect Qadri to play and offer spin and control.
Derbyshire squad: Godleman (c), Brodrick, Critchley, Gleadall, Hughes, Madsen, Olivier, Qadri, Rampaul, Slater, Smit (wk), Viljoen, Wheeldon, Wilson
Weather and Conditions
The weather looks to be set fair for the game and the Trent Bridge pitch has produced plenty of runs so far in this competition. With the weather and pitch looking good, we should hopefully see a true contest between bat and ball and a full result in this vital last game of the Royal London One-Day Cup.
Date: Thursday 7th June 2018
Ground: Trent Bridge, Nottinghamshire
Odds (SkyBet): Nottinghamshire 4/9 Derbyshire 7/4