Derbyshire Falcons have named an unchanged 14-man squad for their maiden Finals Day appearance tomorrow.
Billy Godleman, Luis Reece, Wayne Madsen and Leus du Plooy have scored a combined 14 half-centuries in the competition, and they are expected to continue in a settled top order to face Essex in the second semi-final of the day.
Daryn Smit is named in the squad, as are all-rounders Alex Hughes, Matt Critchley, Darren Stevens, Anuj Dal and Fynn Hudson-Prentice.
Ravi Rampaul (22) and Logan van Beek (9) have more than 30 wickets between them in the competition, and they are named alongside fellow-seamer Boyd Rankin and off-spinner Hamidullah Qadri.
1. Billy Godleman
10. Luis Reece
77. Wayne Madsen
76. Leus du Plooy
18. Alex Hughes
20. Matt Critchley
3. Darren Stevens
65. Anuj Dal
11. Daryn Smit
33. Fynn Hudson-Prentice
37. Logan van Beek
75. Hamidullah Qadri
14. Ravi Rampaul
30. Boyd Rankin
Derbyshire’s opponents in the semi-final will be stiff opposition, having defeated North Group table-toppers Lancashire Lightning in the quarter-final to reach the last four.
The Eagles won five matches in the South Group to finish fourth, before claiming a six-wicket victory in the quarter-final to book their place at Finals Day.
Dan Lawrence (360) is the top run-scorer for Essex, making four half-centuries in 11 innings at an average of 40.00, while Cameron Delport’s 353 runs has seen him make two half-centuries and one century.
In terms of averages, Ravi Bopara leads the way, having scored 228 runs at 45.60 and a strike-rate of 170.15, with his high-score of 70 coming as Essex ended Surrey’s quarter-final hopes.
Australia’s Adam Zampa has taken 12 wickets for Essex in this year’s competition at an average of 28.93, while Bopara has claimed ten wickets at an average of 21.20.
Captain Billy Godleman believes that defying expectations means that Derbyshire go into Finals Day without feeling too much pressure.
Having won the competition with Middlesex in 2008, Godleman will lead the Falcons side for their first Finals Day appearance, and will be hoping to add to his imperious form with the bat, having scored four half-centuries in the competition so far.
The Falcons skipper believes that Derbyshire head to Edgbaston calm and full of confidence, having won their last four matches in the Vitality Blast.
“We’ve got nothing to lose, no one expected us to get to the quarter-finals, let alone Finals Day, but we know what we are capable of,” Godleman said.
“We knew we had to play consistently within 90 to 100 per cent each game to qualify which we did. We needed to play around 95 per cent minimum to beat Gloucestershire in the quarter-finals which we did so the same applies to Finals Day.
“If we can play somewhere in and around that in two games of Twenty20 cricket, anyone can turn anyone over.”
Follow the action ball-by-ball on the Derbyshire County Cricket Club website with our interactive Match Centre.
Improved for the 2019 season, the centre will include a full scorecard, ball-by-ball updates and clips of all the key moments.
Finals Day! Derbyshire reach their first Vitality Blast Finals Day on Saturday 21 September. They take on Essex Eagles in the second semi-final at Edgbaston. Good luck, lads!