Derbyshire have named a 13-man squad for their opening Royal London Cup fixture against Hampshire at The Incora County Ground tomorrow, starting at 11am and a 14-man squad for the fixture against Worcestershire on Sunday, starting at 11am.
Spinner Mark Watt will miss both fixtures due to being on international duty with Scotland, while seamer Sam Conners is absent for the Hampshire game, through playing for the England Lions against South Africa.
Billy Godleman will not feature as a Covid-19 precaution, so Shan Masood will lead the side in the absence of the regular captain.
Opener Masood made a strong return to Derbyshire action, making a stylish half-century against Lancashire. The batter, who boasts the third-highest List A average, for any player with 50 innings or more, will be aiming to keep his run-filled season going in this weekend’s huge double-header.
Ben Aitchison’s economy rate of 3.09 runs-per-over is the third-best in the competition, behind only Will Williams (Lancashire) and Ian Holland (Hampshire), and the young quick will be charged with leading the attack at The Incora County Ground on Friday, before his new ball partner, Conners, returns on Sunday.
Having signed a one-year contract extension, all-rounder Mattie McKiernan will be looking to build on his excellent start to the competition. After three innings, McKiernan averages 71 and has a strike-rate above 100.
94. Shan Masood (c)
24. Tom Wood
4. Harry Came
10. Luis Reece
29. Brooke Guest (wk)
22. Mitch Wagstaff
18. Alex Hughes
21. Mattie McKiernan
15. Alex Thomson
65. Anuj Dal
59. Sam Conners (Worcestershire only)
11. Ben Aitchison
26. Nick Potts
Hampshire and Worcestershire have had polar-opposite starts to the 2022 Royal London Cup, with the former sitting second in Group B with three wins from as many games, while the New Road side have lost each of their opening four matches.
For Hampshire, 19-year-old Tom Prest has enjoyed of stellar start to the competition, scoring 249 runs at an average of 81, including a top-score of 181 against Kent. With the ball, young seamer Jack Campbell has seven wickets at an average of just 13.14.
Worcestershire have three batters averaging above 50 in the Royal London Cup, with Ben Cox (76.50), Kashif Ali (51.50)and Ed Barnard (60.33) key to their chances of turning the winless run around. The experienced Joe Leach leads the way with the ball, having taken five wickets and going at less than six runs-an-over.
All-rounder, Alex Thomson, says Derbyshire must put the defeat to Lancashire behind them as they go into a crucial pair of fixtures against Hampshire and Worcestershire.
Thomson took a career-best 3-25 at Emirates Old Trafford, as part of a tight bowling performances which restricted the hosts to just 221-4 from their 50 overs, but Derbyshire were unable to chase it down and were bowled out with 40 needed to win.
The spinner says the defeat was a frustrating one, but the focus will need to be on picking up more wins in the remaining five fixtures, starting with this weekend.
“I think it’s very disappointing. We’ll be looking back on that game and thinking that we should have got home, especially with the start we had. They probably got twenty too many but I think the way Croft and Jones went about it showed us how we should have batted after we had a little collapse up top.
“But partnerships were crucial today and we only had one solid stand, Every time I come here there always seems to be something in it for the bowler. It’s a big outfield but not the fastest, so it did not make it difficult for the batsmen. We’ll now be thinking where we could have done better.
“We have to have the winning mentality going into every game. This is a short competition and we can’t afford any more losses.”
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