Vitality Blast returns this month, and we’re taking a look at four Derbyshire Falcons to keep an eye on, as Mickey Arthur’s side aim for Finals Day!
With an explosive, streetwise batting lineup, including the likes of Leus du Plooy and Luis Reece, and an exciting bowling attack, Derbyshire could prove a match for any side in the Twenty20 competition this year.
From one of the county’s all-time greats to superstars of T20 leagues across the world, we’ve picked out for players who could prove the difference in the key moments this season.
1. Wayne Madsen (Batter)
Few players can boast the kind of innovation that Wayne Madsen brings to the T20 arena, from his patented ‘Madsen Ramp’, a vast array of sweeps, as well as the expert strokeplay and power hitting that has made him a modern Derbyshire great.
With 3,010 T20 runs to his name, Madsen is the Club’s all-time leading run-scorer in the format, with an average of 30.71, 20 half-centuries and a strike-rate of 134.31 showing that the right-hander can adapt to any scenario.
His experience will be key for Derbyshire this season, having missed all but one game of the 2021 competition through a hamstring injury.
2. Shan Masood (Batter)
If Shan Masood’s start to life as a Derbyshire player is anything to go by, The Incora County Ground faithful will be in for a treat watching the Pakistan opener this season!
Masood has scored 713 runs in just six LV= County Championship innings, and he’s shown his ability to accelerate and punishing any bowler mistakes with ruthless consistency.
Not limited to the red ball game, Masood is a renowned run-scorer across all formats. He was a leading light for Multan Sultans in the last two Pakistan Super League seasons, lifting the trophy in 2021 and finishing as a runner-up in 2022, while scoring 478 runs across 12 innings.
While he’s yet to make his international bow in the shortest format, Masood’s career white ball record, including a List A average above 50, means he will be a key wicket for any bowling attack in this season’s Vitality Blast.
3. Suranga Lakmal (Bowler)
A Sri Lankan great and the leader of Derbyshire’s bowling attack, Suranga Lakmal will be hoping his experience and variation can bamboozle some of county cricket’s best batters.
A winner of the 2021 Lanka Premier League with Jaffna Kings, Lakmal has claimed 69 T20 wickets at an average of 24.86 and best figures of 5-34, while his overall white ball wickets haul stands at more than 300 dismissals.
The fourth-highest Test wicket-taker in his country’s history (171), Lakmal is a legendary figure in his homeland, and was Mickey Arthur’s first-choice for an overseas quick, having worked with the fast bowler while coaching Sri Lanka.
Mark Watt (Bowler)
Described by Mickey Arthur as ‘the finger spinner of the Twenty20 World Cup’, Scotland’s Mark Watt is a familiar face to Derbyshire supporters, having played for the Club in 2019.
He claimed 4-19 against Yorkshire at Queen’s Park during that spell, but since then Watt has become one of the most feared spinners in international T20 cricket, with his innovation, mystery and economical style earning rave reviews.
In last year’s World Cup, Watt claimed seven wickets for Scotland and maintained an economy rate of just 6.13 per-over. He beguiled New Zealand with a spell of 1-13, including bowling at the death to Glenn Phillips and Martin Guptill.
We’re looking forward to welcoming supporters back to The Incora County Ground next summer and our Blast Pass will put you at the heart of the action.
Buying a Vitality Blast pass for 2022 now will secure your place at every home group game next summer. You will be able to see every ball as the most explosive form of cricket returns to Derbyshire in 2022 for just £89, a saving of over 30%.
With a formidable top-order, backed up by an exciting crop of bowlers, the Falcons are ready to go again in 2022.
Vitality Blast 2022 – Tickets on sale now!
Mickey Arthur’s Falcons kick off their Vitality Blast campaign under The Incora County Ground lights against Birmingham Bears on Friday 27 May, when the likes of Leus du Plooy, Wayne Madsen, Shan Masood and George Scrimshaw will all be aiming to make the perfect start.
After a dramatic episode in 2021, the East Midlands Derby against Notts Outlaws returns on Friday 3 June, while the Falcons will be aiming to extend their Vitality Blast winning streak at Queen’s Park to four matches, when they take on Yorkshire Vikings to close out the BRM Solicitors Festival of Cricket, in association with Chesterfield Borough Council, on Saturday 18 June.