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Pre-Match Pack: Lancashire Lightning

Tuesday 25th July 2017
Written by Danny Painter

Derbyshire Falcons have name an unchanged 14-man squad for the fourth NatWest T20 Blast fixture in a row as they prepare to face Lancashire Lightning at The 3aaa County Ground on Tuesday 25 July; 7.00pm start.

The Falcons begin a run of three home NatWest T20 Blast matches this week in Derby when they host Lancashire Lightning on Tuesday night.

Gary Wilson’s men are out to avenge the five-wicket defeat against the Lightning at Emirates Old Trafford earlier in the competition and can call upon a number of in-form players for the return to The 3aaa County Ground.

Wayne Madsen has been the Falcons’ standout performer in the campaign so far. He is the competition’s leading run scorer with 291 at an average of 73, and he has also claimed six wickets at an economy of 7.04.

Billy Godleman and Matt Critchley are set to continue at the top of the order, since first pairing up away to Tuesday’s visitors. Godleman hit a career-best 70 in the win against Worcestershire Rapids and has a tournament strike rate of 163.

The squad contains plenty of spin options with Hamidullah Qadri, Imran Tahir, Critchley and Madsen all included. Tahir has impressed for Derbyshire since his arrival in July, including a memorable 3-18 in the win over Yorkshire Vikings at a sold-out Queen’s Park. He has seven wickets in the campaign at an average of 27.

Hardus Viljoen is the Falcons’ leading wicket-taker with nine, the South African paceman taking a wicket every 15 deliveries so far in the competition.


Derbyshire Squad

1. Billy Godleman
10. Luis Reece
23. Tom Wood
77. Wayne Madsen
18. Alex Hughes
9. Gary Wilson
2. Callum Brodrick
11. Daryn Smit
20. Matt Critchley
21. Matt Henry
7. Hardus Viljoen
36. Ben Cotton
75. Hamidullah Qadri
99. Imran Tahir


Opposition

Lancashire Lightning currently sit third in the NatWest T20 Blast North Group, with three wins, one tie and one no result contributing to eight points from their opening six games.

Liam Livingstone’s firepower will be a threat at the top of the order and the 23-year-old England international has hit 166 runs in five matches so far this campaign, including a best of 61 in the 31-run win over Durham Jets.

Jos Buttler is likely to keep wicket and slot into the middle order, alongside Dane Vilas and Ryan McLaren. All three are vastly experienced in the format, with Buttler striking at over 147, Vilas averaging 32 and McLaren proving both quick runs and wickets.

Tom Bailey and Junaid Khan will provide further pace bowling options alongside McLaren, whilst Steven Croft is likely to open the bowling in the powerplay overs.

Slow left-arm orthodox bowler Stephen Parry has played over 100 domestic Twenty20 matches and taken 115 wickets at an average under 25.

Lightning Squad: To be announced.


Pre-Match Talk

Falcons Captain Gary Wilson has his sights set on pushing for a NatWest T20 Blast qualification spot and wants to turn The 3aaa County Ground into a fortress to give his side an edge.

“I don’t think you can look deep into keeping the wickets in hand as you could then take away the freedom of the players,” said Wilson. “In an ideal world, we could have gave it a bit more of a nudge in the last few overs but I think they were pretty comfortable from around about 15 overs.

“We have eight to play, and I’d have thought than if we win 7 or 8 then we might be alright but the goal is to qualify and we are a work in progress for sure. If we play to our ability we could be there or thereabouts.”

He added: “We want to turn The 3aaa County Ground into a place where people don’t want to come and play. If we perform it becomes a place where we know how to win games of cricket and that will give us an extra edge.

“The crowd can definitely make it for the players. Support really counts, there is nothing better than a home crowd getting really behind you and once you get off to a good start or your batsman hits quick runs you can hear the crowd and feel them backing you all the way.”

NatWest T20 Blast is back this July and August. Save £4 by purchasing your matchday tickets in advance. While further discounts are available for groups of 10 or more. Buy online today to secure your place and save.

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