While not mathematically guaranteed a place in the knock out stages of the competition, it would take a group of freakish mathematical results to see Worcestershire miss out, win, lose or draw against Derbyshire on Monday at The Pattonair County Ground.
A win could see the Rapids finish top if Nottinghamshire lose, but will definitely guarantee them second, as would a tie. A loss could see them finish third, depending on Durham’s result against Yorkshire, who the Pears thrashed by 153 runs on Saturday.
Derbyshire on the other hand are playing for nothing but pride and the chance to finish fourth in the table, but again that would need them to hugely thrash Worcestershire and Durham to receive an equally massive thrashing.
They come off the back of a loss to Lancashire, where their chase never got going against the Lightning’s spinners and will be glad to see fewer spin options on the team sheet on Monday than they encountered at Old Trafford.
Worcestershire will be looking to win their sixth game of the competition, having performed excellently this season with the white ball, only losing to local rivals Warwickshire in a surprise result and also to Leicestershire, both games they will look back on think they should have won and already secured their knockout stage status.
Derbyshire will be looking for win number four and something to show for some improved performances this season. Had they won the game they tied against Yorkshire, they could have still qualified for the knockout stages with a good win over their visitors on Monday and had a tangible reward for their improvements. As it stands, they will have to make do with moral victories and build for next season and the T20 Blast later in the season.
Worcestershire will start the game as favourites and will be hoping to put their qualification to bed, however Derbyshire have ability and will want to impress in front of the Sky TV Cameras and finish their competition on a high. With rain forecast, it can always make games trickier to call.
Everyone talks about finishers in the modern game, either being able to set a total or drive your side over the winning line chasing. In Matthew Critchley Derbyshire have that player. So far, Critchley has only been dismissed twice in the competition and has scored 180 runs at a strike rate of 116.88 and has a top score of 64 not out. Critchley also bowls leg spin and is a genuine wicket-taking threat in the middle overs. Throw in his gun fielding and Critchley’s ability makes him key to Derbyshire’s success.
When a county goes down the Kolpak route, it is to buy a ready made player, you want results and in Wayne Parnell that is exactly what Worcestershire have acquired. So far in the Royal London One Day Cup the South African has taken 17 wickets at an average of 17.06 and an economy rate of 5.40. When you consider he bowls predominantly in the powerplay and at the death, it makes those figures even more impressive. He is also a very effective batsman, having scored 113 runs in the competition this season with a top score of 76. If Parnell fires on Monday, then it will greatly improve the likelihood of Worcestershire qualifying for the knockout stages.
Leus Du Plooy is absent with his injured thumb as is Alfie Gleadell with his side strain. Expect Anuj Dal to keep his place following his maiden List A 50 last time out, along with Mark Watt who has improved game on game for his new county.
Derbyshire squad: Billy Godleman, Luis Reece, Wayne Madsen, Tom Lace, Alex Hughes, Harvey Hosein, Matt Critchley, Anuj Dal, Logan van Beek, Mark Watt, Tony Palladino, Ravi Rampaul
Callum Ferguson is now Worcestershire’s overseas player after a brief stay by Hamish Rutherford, strengthening the side and giving them a real dynamism in the top order, to go with the powerful middle order of Ross Whitely, Ed Barnard and Parnell. They also have one of the most exciting young fast white-ball bowlers in the game in Patrick Brown and he will prove to be a real handful for the Derbyshire batsmen if he remains in the squad when it is announced.
Worcestershire squad: TBA
Derbyshire : LWLTWL
Worcestershire : WWLWWL
Weather and Conditions
The forecast is mixed for Monday’s game, with rain forecast later in the day from around 2pm onwards, prior to that the forecast is for a cold and grey cold morning. With rain around it is common practice to try and win the toss and bowl first, allowing for Duckworth, Lewis and Stern to favour the chasing side.
Date: May 6 2019
Ground: Pattonair County Ground, Derby
Odds (SkyBet): Derbyshire 5/4, Worcestershire 4/7