Pre-Match Pack: Northants Steelbacks

Thursday 27th July 2017
Written by Danny Painter

Derbyshire Falcons have name an unchanged 14-man squad for the visit of Northants Steelbacks to The 3aaa County Ground in the NatWest T20 Blast on Friday 28 July; 7.00pm start.

The Falcons began a run of three home NatWest T20 Blast matches this week in Derby with a 35-run victory over Lancashire Lightning on Tuesday, before they welcome the Steelbacks on Friday and round the week off with the visit of Leicestershire Foxes on Sunday; 2.30pm start.

Gary Wilson’s side ran out seven-wicket winners in the reverse fixture, Luis Reece top-scoring with 75 not out in the Falcons’ first game in the competition.

The Falcons batsman has been in fine form recently, most notably hitting an unbeaten 97 in the 35-run victory over the Lightning. He is joined in the top-order by Wayne Madsen who is the competition’s second highest-run scorer with 306 runs at a strike rate of 162.

Imran Tahir claimed his 200th Twenty20 wicket in the win over Lancashire and the South African will be joined by Matt Critchley in the spin bowling department. Hamidullah Qadri provides a further spin option after the 16-year-old impressed since his first-class debut in June.

Hardus Viljoen is the Falcons’ leading wicket-taker with nine, the South African paceman taking a wicket every 18 deliveries so far in the competition. Matt Henry returned figures of 3-37 against Lancashire and he is also set to feature in the pace bowling department.

The Falcons will be aiming to claim their fifth win 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


Northants Steelbacks visit The 3aaa County Ground in their second of back-to-back games, first hosting Worcestershire Rapids on Thursday evening before making the trip to Derby.

The reigning champions sit sixth on seven points prior to the Rapids fixture, with three wins, two defeats and one no result from their six matches.

Ben Duckett will be one to watch at The 3aaa County Ground. The powerful England international scored 69 from 52 balls in the reverse fixture and is known for 360 degree hitting, which has the potential to get the Steelbacks off to a good start.

Richard Levi missed the early part of the competition through injury, but has gone on to hit 129 runs in two matches since his return. The explosive top-order hitter will be dangerous if he gets himself set.

Rory Kleinveldt is the Steelbacks’ leading wicket-taker after the first six games, taking five at an average of 28. He is likely to lead the bowling attack alongside fellow paceman Ben Sanderson and spinner Rob Keogh.

Steelbacks Squad: To be announced.

Pre-Match Talk

Luis Reece hit an unbeaten 97 in the 35-run win over Lancashire Lightning, but with seven games to go, he sees this as just the start for himself and the Falcons in their push for a knockout place.

“It’s nice to do it against the old boys but to come away with a win is fantastic after the week we’ve had,” said Reece. “It’s been a challenging week but we’ve come out and put in a quality performance.”

“I’ve felt in great nick all year but it’s been a bit disjointed for me with injury and illness so it’s nice to have a run of games and the freedom to go out and play the way I want to play T20 cricket.

“I’ve been lucky enough to get that opportunity and so far, so good , I’ve put in a couple of decent performances and I’m hoping this is just the start of things to come for both me and the team.”

He added: “We’re halfway through the tournament now and we’ve probably got half the amount of wins we need to qualify so this week is quite big for us.

“If we can get a couple of wins from these home games that will set us up quite nicely but we’ve got to keep improving because we know we can tighten up in a few areas.”

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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