Derbyshire Falcons have named a 13-man squad for their Vitality Blast fixtures against Leicestershire Foxes (tomorrow, 7pm) and Worcestershire Rapids (Friday, 5.30pm ).
The Falcons come into the back-to-back games knowing victories will put them back in contention for the knockout stages, with captain Shan Masood looking to build on Derbyshire’s two wins so far.
One of those victories came against tomorrow’s opponents, Leicestershire Foxes, when a stellar bowling performance from the likes of Hayden Kerr, Mark Watt, Mattie McKiernan and George Scrimshaw guided the Falcons to a comprehensive win last month.
Alex Hughes’ wicket on Tuesday moved him up to joint-top of the Club’s all-time T20 wicket-taker list, and the all-rounder will be aiming to take top spot in his own right in the next two games.
94. Shan Masood (c)
10. Luis Reece
76. Leus du Plooy
77. Wayne Madsen
29. Brooke Guest (wk)
21. Mattie McKiernan
65. Anuj Dal
18. Alex Hughes
15. Alex Thomson
50. Hayden Kerr
59. Sam Conners
51. Mark Watt
9. George Scrimshaw
Suranga Lakmal has undergone successful surgery on his elbow and will work closely with the Medical Team through his recovery process for the remainder of the season.
Ben Aitchison’s recovery from a spinal bone injury is progressing according to plan and it is hoped he could feature before the end of the current campaign, Tom Wood remains unavailable for selection.
Batter, Harry Came’s selection is currently on hold as a Covid-19 precaution.
Leicestershire Foxes sit fifth in the North Group, but could be leapfrogged by Derbyshire on Thursday evening, while Worcestershire Rapids are bottom with two points.
Last year’s leading Vitality Blast wicket-taker, Naveen ul-Haq, has continued his good run in T20 cricket for the Foxes, with 14 wickets coming at an average of 14.57. With the bat, Scott Steel’s two half-centuries have led the way, but Leicestershire’s strength has been with the ball so far.
Worcestershire can call on the big-hitting prowess of Colin Munro, but youngster Jack Haynes has taken his brilliant LV= County Championship form into the white ball game, scoring two half-centuries and maintaining a strike-rate of 158.76.
If available, England international Moeen Ali will provide crucial experience with bat and ball for the Rapids at New Road.
Shan Masood says the Falcons will be itching to put things right against Leicestershire Foxes on Thursday, after the Falcons were defeated by Northants Steelbacks.
Derbyshire were beaten by five wickets at the County Ground, Northampton, after setting the hosts a target of 152, as Josh Cobb struck a powerful 70.
With two wins and four defeats from their opening six Vitality Blast games, with the back-to-back fixtures against Leicestershire Foxes (home) on Thursday and Worcestershire Rapids (away) Friday crucial to Derbyshire’s chances of progressing.
Masood says Derbyshire are eager to turn around their form in this week’s remaining fixtures, and says the intense nature of the schedule could prove a blessing for the Falcons.
“We know the value of each and every game that comes along,” he added.
“It’s good [having little time between game], because when results aren’t going your way, it gives you the chance to put it right quickly. It’s all about momentum, if we can get the next two results, it puts us in a good place for the back-end of the competition.
“So we’ll take it day-by-day and come back on Thursday, put in a really good performance. This is not the end of the world, we’re on the right track and we need to keep believing.”
Buy Match Tickets
Tickets are still on sale for Derbyshire Falcons’ Vitality Blast fixture against Leicestershire Foxes, with supporters urged to buy in advance to get the best possible price and avoid queues.
Led by internationally renowned Head of Cricket, Mickey Arthur, and captain, Shan Masood, the Falcons are aiming for a second Finals Day appearance in four years.
Tickets are selling fast, so buy now to avoid disappointment and cheer on the Falcons this summer!
How to follow
Derbyshire’s Vitality Blast fixture against Leicestershire Foxes will be covered live on the Club website, through our improved Match Centre, delivered in partnership with Purpose Media.
Vitality Blast 2022 – Tickets on sale now!
Tickets for all of Derbyshire’s Vitality Blast fixtures are on sale now.
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.