Derbyshire have named a 13-man squad for their Bob Willis Trophy fixture against Lancashire, starting on Sunday 6 September (10.30am).
Billy Godleman and the side return to red-ball cricket, knowing that a victory could see them progress to the final of the competition at Lord’s later this month.
The skipper is joined in the squad by Luis Reece, Wayne Madsen and Leus du Plooy, in a top order that have scored at least 200 runs each in the Bob Willis Trophy, with six half-centuries and three centuries between them.
All-rounders Matt Critchley, Mattie McKiernan and Anuj Dal are named, while the fitness of Fynn Hudson-Prentice will be assessed before the game, after he picked up a thigh injury against Yorkshire in the Vitality Blast.
With the ball, Sam Conners, Dustin Melton, Ed Barnes and Michael Cohen are included in the squad, as Derbyshire aim to remain unbeaten in first-class cricket this year.
1. Billy Godleman
10. Luis Reece
77. Wayne Madsen
76. Leus du Plooy
16. Harvey Hosein
20. Matt Critchley
65. Anuj Dal
33. Fynn Hudson-Prentice
21. Mattie McKiernan
8. Michael Cohen
62. Ed Barnes
59. Sam Conners
13. Dustin Melton
While unable to qualify for the final themselves, Lancashire will provide tough opposition as Derbyshire look to reach the Lord’s showpiece.
An opening-game defeat to Leicestershire has proved costly for the Red-Rose county, who have picked up the second-lowest amount of bowling points (8) in the Bob Willis Trophy.
With the bat, Steven Croft leads the way with in terms of average, with 199 runs at 66.33, including three half-centuries. a number matched by Alex Davies, who has scored 251 runs at 50.20.
Despite their struggles in picking up bowling points, Lancashire’s Tom Bailey has taken 13 wickets, the most in the North Group, at an average of 21.69 and with best figures of 3-11. Derbyshire’s Matt Critchley is one dismissal behind Bailey, on 12.
Head of Cricket, Dave Houghton says Derbyshire will need to produce another big performance if they are to defeat Lancashire and reach the Bob Willis Trophy final.
Unbeaten after four games, and top of the North Group, Derbyshire currently have the second-most points in the Bob Willis Trophy (71), with a win potentially sending them into a Lord’s final.
With a developing bowling attack, and a top-order with more than 800 runs between them, Houghton has been pleased with the cricket his side have played, but emphasised the need for another good showing at Aigburth.
“We’ve played some really good cricket to get into a position where it’s all in our hands,” Houghton said.
“It’ll be a tough game, Lancashire is always a difficult game no matter what team they put out against us, but if we want to get to the final, we have that opportunity staring us in the face and we will have to have a good four days to get to Lord’s.
“All four games have been good, even against Yorkshire and Durham, because we only played the cricket we were allowed to, but we batted really well in both of those games.
“We’ve had a really good four-day season, even though it’s truncated, but we need one more big push, there’s a lot of pressure and one of the things with a young squad is how they can handle that pressure, we will see over the four days.”
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