Derbyshire Falcons have named an unchanged 14-man squad for the NatWest T20 Blast match versus Leicestershire Foxes at The Fischer County Ground on Thursday 17 August; 6.30pm start.
Following the dramatic three-wicket win over Durham Jets in front of a good crowd at The 3aaa County Ground last night, the Falcons sit second in the NatWest T20 Blast North Group on 15 points with a Club-record seven wins from their 12 matches. One win from their final two games would secure a first quarter-final spot in the competition since 2005.
Gary Wilson remains with Ireland for an ICC International Cup fixture versus the Netherlands in Dublin. In his absence, the Falcons will be captained by Daryn Smit, who has previous captaincy experience with the Hollywoodbets Dolphins in South Africa.
The standout performers with the bat for the Falcons so far have been Wayne Madsen and Luis Reece, both scoring over 400 runs and hitting seven half-centuries between them.
They are likely to be supported at the top-order by Billy Godleman who himself has struck two half-centuries including a career-best 70 off 42 balls in the win over Worcestershire Rapids at New Road. Alex Hughes, Matt Henry and Callum Brodrick come into the middle order and provide firepower in the latter overs.
Henry, Hardus Viljoen and Imran Tahir have all taken 12 wickets in the campaign so far. Tahir will lead on the spin front alongside Matt Critchley, whilst Henry and Viljoen spearhead the pace attack.
1. Billy Godleman
10. Luis Reece
23. Tom Wood
77. Wayne Madsen
18. Alex Hughes
20. Matt Critchley
2. Callum Brodrick
11. Daryn Smit
21. Matt Henry
7. Hardus Viljoen
8. Tom Milnes
14. Greg Cork
36. Ben Cotton
99. Imran Tahir
The Foxes currently have 13 points from their 12 matches, with six wins, five defeats and one no result.
Clint McKay’s men won their opening four matches and lost the next four, before recovering to mount a late charge for a quarter-final spot. Derbyshire won the reverse fixture by seven wickets with 37 balls remaining, largely down to 3-18 from Matt Henry and an unbeaten 49 from Wayne Madsen.
Luke Ronchi and Mark Cosgrove will be the main threats with the bat, the pair both scoring over 300 runs in the competition so far. Former New Zealand wicketkeeper-batsman, Ronchi is the Foxes’ leading run-scorer with 367 at a strike rate of 182.
Colin Ackermann has a top-score of 62 not out and has made two half-centuries in his 12 matches. The South African all-rounder offers top-order batting and reliable off-spin bowling in the middle overs.
McKay is the Foxes’ leading wicket-taker with 18, closely followed by Mathew Pillans and Callum Parkinson, both on 14. An experienced campaigner, McKay has taken 139 wickets in 112 domestic Twenty20 matches and has the accuracy and variation to trouble batsmen.
Foxes Squad: To be announced.
Derbyshire Falcons’ all-rounder Luis Reece wants his side to continue playing positive cricket and bring their A game in the final two group matches with a quarter-final spot firmly in their sights.
Reece became the first Derbyshire batsman to hit four half-centuries in a NatWest T20 Blast campaign when he struck 66 in the Falcons’ three-wicket win over Durham Jets, lifting them up to second in the North Group table.
He said: “The important thing is we are winning and entertaining the crowd. At no stage now do we let up, we’ve got a couple more big games this week and we want to keep playing positive cricket.
“We’ve played some great cricket here and we would love to reach a quarter-final for our fans and put on a big show.
“But the nature of T20 this year is everyone has been beating everyone which is why tonight was such an important game and why Thursday will be. Leicestershire have got some talented players and big hitters so we will have to bring our A game.”
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