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Pre-Match Pack: Worcestershire Rapids

Friday 18th August 2017
Written by Danny Painter

Derbyshire Falcons have named an unchanged 14-man squad for the final NatWest T20 Blast group match versus Worcestershire Rapids at The 3aaa County Ground on Friday 17 August; 7.00pm start.

The Falcons currently sit third in the North Group, tied with Yorkshire Vikings on 15 points, but behind on net run rate. A win for Derbyshire in the final round of fixtures will secure a NatWest T20 Blast quarter-final spot, with a home tie still possible.

Wayne Madsen has been the star man for the Falcons with the bat so far, averaging 51 in his 12 matches, including a career-best score of 86 not out against Notts Outlaws. He’ll be joined in the middle order by Luis Reece who has also hit over 400 runs and Alex Hughes who is striking at over 130.

Matt Henry and Hardus Viljoen are set to lead the pace attack, with 13 and 12 wickets respectively. Imran Tahir also has 13 wickets, at an average of 27 and he will lead the spin attack alongside all-rounder Matt Critchley.

Gary Wilson remains with Ireland for an ICC International Cup fixture versus the Netherlands in Dublin. Daryn Smit will continue to lead the Falcons in his absence, with Wilson set to return in time for the knockout stages should the Falcons qualify.

Tickets will be available on the gate for the final home group match of the campaign, priced at £20 for adults and £5 for juniors.

Click HERE to read the potential quarter-final permutations.


Derbyshire Squad

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


Opposition

The Rapids currently sit eighth in the NatWest T20 Blast North Group, with three wins, nine defeats and one no result from their 13 matches.

Most recently they lost by seven wickets to Lancashire Lightning at Old Trafford on Wednesday night after being restricted to 127-8 from their 20 overs.

Joe Clarke is an explosive opening batsman in this format, hitting over 350 runs in the competition so far, including 42 from 18 balls in the Falcons’ seven-wicket win in July and a top-score of 124 not out against Durham.

Daryl Mitchell and Ross Whiteley are likely to feature further down the order and with averages this campaign in the mid twenties, both have the ability to score quickly at the end of the innings.

Captain Joe Leach provides an all round option with powerful hitting either at the top or middle of the order, as well as reliable seam bowling, with six wickets in the competition so far.

Mitchell Santner will be the main spin threat, the slow left-arm bowler picking up 11 wickets so far in the competition at an average of 28. He will be supported by Brett D’Oliveira who offers useful leg-spin and wicket-taking variation.

Rapids Squad: Joe Leach, Joe Clarke, Mitchell Santner, Brett D’Oliveira, Ben Cox, Ross Whiteley, Ed Barnard, George Rhodes, Alex Hepburn, Josh Tongue, Patrick Brown, George Scrimshaw.


Pre-Match Talk

Falcons Captain in the absence of Gary Wilson, Daryn Smit, praised his side’s character going into what he sees as a must-win game versus the Rapids at The 3aaa County Ground.

He said: “I think we’ve batted really well and the batsman have almost made up for the bowling at times. We needed the roles to be reversed, but it wasn’t quite there. Those batsman who have done it week in and week out are bound to have a slip up at some point and unfortunately it all happened on the same night.

“I’ve learnt so much about the guys tonight. The character that was shown was fantastic. We go into the game against Worcestershire knowing we have to win and I don’t think that’s a bad thing. We know if we’re going to make the quarter-final it will be on the back of a win and we would have momentum on our side.”

The wicketkeeper-batsman added: “We’ve played really well at home throughout the campaign and hopefully there will be a good crowd at home and hopefully we can qualify and get over the line.”

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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