Billy Godleman comes into a 15-man Derbyshire Falcons squad for the Vitality Blast fixture away to Northants Steelbacks on Thursday 19 July.
The Falcons are aiming to secure their first win in the competition against the Steelbacks, who are also targeting their maiden victory of the campaign.
Godleman has been named in the squad to face Northants having notched 270 runs in last year’s competition with a top-score of 70 and a strike rate of over 144.
Calum MacLeod will be hoping to continue his good form as Derbyshire’s leading run-scorer in the competition. The Scotland international added to his 44 on debut with a well-made 48 against Notts Outlaws last Friday.
All-rounder Wayne Madsen is also hoping to support MacLeod at the top of the order following his quick-fire 34 against Lancashire Lighting which saw him become Derbyshire’s all-time leading run scorer in twenty-over cricket.
Fast bowler Lockie Ferguson is set to continue in the bowling attack for the Falcons after an impressive display against Notts as he took career-best figures of 4-26. The New Zealand international is also Derbyshire’s leading wicket-taker with seven at an average of 14.71.
Wahab Riaz is looking to bring his form into the match against the Steelbacks after his strong performance against the Lightning on Sunday. The Pakistan international took two wickets for 20 runs from his four overs.
26. Ben Slater
1. Billy Godleman
20. Matt Critchley
6. Calum MacLeod
77. Wayne Madsen
18. Alex Hughes
14. Gary Wilson
19. Callum Brodrick
65. Anuj Dal
21. Matt McKiernan
47. Wahab Riaz
7. Hardus Viljoen
69. Lockie Ferguson
50. Safyaan Sharif
41. Ravi Rampaul
Derbyshire Falcons will face a strong Northants Steelbacks side, and one which is equally hungry to earn their first win of the campaign.
Alex Wakely will lead the Steelbacks as he continues his fine form in the competition. The Northants captain recorded his second fifty when he hit 54 from 21 balls in the last match against the Worcestershire Rapids.
Opening batsman Ben Duckett will also be looking to carry momentum into Thursday night’s match as the hosts’ leading run-scorer. The explosive 23-year old has two half-centuries so far, while he has also recorded an impressive 30 boundaries in four matches.
The 2013 and 2016 T20 Blast winners have re-signed Seekkuge Prasanna for this summer’s competition. The Sri-Lanka international played an important role in their title win two years ago and he has also taken three wickets so far this year.
Another explosive batsman and the Steelbacks’ leading wicket-taker in 2017, Rory Kleinveldt offers options with both bat and ball for Northants. The 35-year old has a wealth of Twenty20 experience, with over 130 wickets at an average of 27.66 in the shorter format.
Steelbacks Squad: Richard Levi, Ben Duckett, Josh Cobb, Alex Wakely (c), Kyle Coetzer, Steven Crook, Luke Procter, Seekkuge Prasanna, Rory Kleinveldt, Graeme White, Brett Hutton, Ben Sanderson, Nathan Buck, Ricardo Vasconcelos.
Falcons captain Gary Wilson believes his side can claim their first Vitality Blast win of the campaign tomorrow when they travel to Wantage Road to face Northants Steelbacks.
The 32-year-old is confident that the individual performances will come together and that the Falcons can return to how they took charge of games in 2017 to get off to more powerful starts with the bat.
He said: “Obviously Northants haven’t had a great start either, so one of us will turn that around tomorrow night.
“We’re pretty confident that it’s going to be us. We’ve got to play better than we have done in all four games.
“With the two overseas players that’s exactly what we’re looking for. Lockie in particular has been outstanding with his variation, his quicker ball is rapid, so we’re very happy with those two.
“A few guys have got runs, I guess we just need to be a bit more fearless and throw caution to the wind a bit. The way we played last year up front is the way we want to play, but unfortunately we haven’t been able to do that so far this year, but there are ten games to go.”
Vitality Blast is back! Derbyshire Falcons host seven Twenty20 games this July and August. Purchase your tickets in advance and save from £4. Buy online or call 01332 388 101.