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Pre-Match Pack: Northants Steelbacks

Friday 7th July 2017
Written by Danny Painter

Matt Henry is set to make his Derbyshire debut as the Falcons begin their new NatWest T20 Blast campaign away at defending champions Northants Steelbacks; Friday 7 July, 6.30pm start.

The New Zealand international pace bowler will be available for the entire competition and brings with him plenty of Twenty20 experience, including two spells in the Indian Premier League and 61 domestic matches.

Clocked at over 90mph, he has taken 60 wickets in Twenty20 matches and will form part of a fast bowling attack which also includes Hardus Viljoen who is back after injury.

Gary Wilson’s 14-man squad also features Imran Tahir. The spinner shot to the top of the ICC World Twenty20 rankings in February, holding the top spot in both limited overs formats. The prolific bowler has already made an impact with Derbyshire, returning match figures of 7-199 against Durham at Queen’s Park on debut.

With 55 international Twenty20 wickets to his name at an average of 14, he will lead the spin attack alongside fellow leg spinner Matt Critchley, who will also provide firepower in the middle order.

Experienced batsman Wayne Madsen is set for his 73rd Twenty20 appearance for Derbyshire and is likely to fit into the middle order alongside Wilson who, having led Surrey to Finals Day in 2014, is no stranger to the fast-paced competition of the NatWest T20 Blast.

Derbyshire Squad

1. Billy Godleman
10. Luis Reece
26. Ben Slater
77. Wayne Madsen
18. Alex Hughes
9. Gary Wilson
Callum Brodrick
11. Daryn Smit
20. Matt Critchley
7. Hardus Viljoen
21. Matt Henry
15. Tom Taylor
36. Ben Cotton
99. Imran Tahir


Northants Steelbacks sealed victory in last year’s NatWest T20 Blast with a four-wicket victory over Durham in the final at Edgbaston. Retaining the majority of their squad, they look well set for another good campaign.

Ben Duckett is likely to be the dangerman with the bat for the Steelbacks. The 22-year-old top-order batsman averages over 30 in domestic Twenty20 competitions and has the power to score quickly, often at a strike rate over 130.

Alongside Josh Cobb, who scored 80 off 48 balls in last year’s final, the pair will provide firepower around the likes of Alex Wakely and Rob Keogh.

Steelbacks Squad: Buck, Cobb, Crook, Duckett, Gleeson, Keogh, Rossington, Shamsi, Sanderson, Kleinveldt, Newton, White, Wakely.

Pre-Match Talk

Twenty20 Specialist Coach John Wright says he is looking forward to Derbyshire getting their NatWest T20 Blast campaign underway and building momentum in the group stages.

He said: “It would be great to start well because then you can get some momentum and winning can be a habit.

“There are situations where teams haven’t experienced winning enough and you can see the doubt creeping in and I suppose that’s a great challenge for all of us.

“Hopefully if we can learn how to do that and repeat it we will do better this year. I’m new and sometimes that can be an advantage. I think we have a great bunch of guys who want to do well and I think if we can just get some wins together, everything else will take of itself.”

Wright added: “Particularly in T20, you can’t be too prescriptive, there’s aggression, being positive, all those sorts of things and there’s not a lot of time for second guessing.

“What I will be encouraging the boys to do is when you get into a situation where you have an opportunity to win, you’ve got to look at it in the right way and not to be too fussed about the what-ifs.”

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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