Cricket returns to Derby this week as the Falcons welcome Durham to the Incora County Ground. Even more exciting, though, is that spectators return to Derby this week. Covid restrictions are lifted and Derbyshire members can once again watch their team within the ground. The game will also be streamed as in previous rounds.
Derbyshire will be hoping the return of those supporters can push them to victory, as they look to bounce back from back to back defeats at the hand of Nottinghamshire and Essex. Durham arrive following consecutive victories over Warwickshire and Worcestershire.
Those results see Durham in second place in group one, with 73 points, and Derbyshire in sixth, on 41 points – both sides know that if they harbour hopes of reaching the top two qualifying places, a victory is required from this game.
Both the hosts and the visitors will be hoping that the forecast rain stays away long enough to secure a positive result for them. With the table looking as it does, it is easy to see why the bookies have Durham as favourites. They have been playing good cricket and have men in form. Derbyshire are looking to reverse their bad form, and will be hoping their big name players can reignite their season.
In the recent past when Derbyshire needed a player to deliver and help them snap out of a bad run of form, Wayne Madsen has always been that man. If Derbyshire are to claim victory then Madsen will be key. His runs in the middle order will be vital. It’s no secret that he has been Derbyshire’s best batter for seasons now, and when he does well the team do well. Derbyshire, the supporters back in the ground and everywhere else, will be hoping that Madsen can deliver the runs to give their young attack something to bowl at.
From one county stalwart to another. In Chris Rushworth, Durham have a county legend in their ranks. Last week he took nine wickets in the match and, in doing so, became the county’s leading wicket taker in First Class cricket. His 26 wickets this season have come at a cost of just over 16 runs and at a rate of one every seven overs, taking them quickly and cheaply enough for Durham to secure victories even when weather intervenes. When Rushworth takes wickets Durham do well.
Derbyshire will have a full strength squad to pick from again. Following his excellent performance last week, expect Brooke Guest to bat at three again and look to nail down that place for the foreseeable future. Billy Stanlake and Luis Reese are out injured, while Ben Aitchison returns to the side.
Derbyshire Squad: Billy Godleman (c), Leus du Plooy, Wayne Madsen, Matt Critchley, Alex Hughes, Harvey Hosein, Brooke Guest, Fynn Hudson-Prentice, Michael Cohen, Sam Conners, Ben Aitchison, Dustin Melton
Durham will be looking to enjoy their last look at Mark Wood for quite a while, as he will soon be joining up with the England squad ready for the test series against New Zealand. He will lead the attack with Rushworth and exciting prospect Brydon Carse. Will Young has left, after some impressive performances, to be replaced by fellow antipodean Cameron Bancroft, which should be a straight swap at the top of the order. Other than that, the side remains unchanged.
Durham Squad: Scott Borthwick (c), Cameron Bancroft, David Bedingham, Jack Burnham, Brydon Carse, Paul Coughlin, Ned Eckersley, Ben Raine, Chris Rushworth, Matt Salisbury, Liam Trevaskis, Alex Lees, Stuart Poynter, Mark Wood
Derbyshire CCC : DDDLL
Durham CCC : DLDWW
Weather and Conditions
The weather forecast for the four days in Derby this week is a lot like Derbyshire’s season: sunshine and showers. There will be rain about, so if you are lucky enough to be in the ground watching, make sure you pack your coat and brolly.
There have been two previous fixtures at the Incora County Ground this season, the most recent of which saw Nottinghamshire score well, passing 300 in the third innings, and prior to that 300 was passed in three of the four innings – so it’s safe to say we can expect runs again. The pitches do tend to offer a good competition between bat and ball, however, and of the 80 wickets that could have fallen, 78 have been captured by the bowlers.
So, if weather allows, expect a good game of cricket ending in a win for either side.
Dates : 20th May to 23rd May
Time : 11am
Ground : Incora County Ground, Derby
Match Odds (Sky Bet): Derbyshire CCC 5/4 Durham CCC 4/7