Bottom-placed sides search for inspiration
The two most out-of-form sides get ready to face each other with their chances of qualification all but over. Durham and Derbyshire have both been below-par in their performances and it doesn’t come as a surprise that both sides are winless so far. Having young and volatile batting line-ups has been the major issue that’s been common to the teams with too much pressure being felt by the senior players. As a result, the batting hasn’t clicked and no matter how much the bowlers try, the batting is pivotal in this format. The cliched ‘playing for pride’ stage is here as progression to the knockouts is almost out of the equation. With good batting conditions prevalent at Riverside, it provides both the batting units to play with a dash of freedom and flair. It also means the bowling will be tested, given the true nature of surfaces on display. Tracks do slow down a bit on the second half although stroke-making still remains quite fluid. There could also be some changes on both sides, as their previous combinations have clearly not been working according to plan.
Given that their home conditions have aided batsmen generally, the underperformance of the batters will hurt them and it’s primarily been the cause of where they are placed on the points table. The inclusion of seasoned campaigners like Ben Raine and Farhaan Behardien too hasn’t helped to change much of the fortunes with not enough runs being put on the board. And on occasions when the batting has done well, like in the previous game, the bowlers already leaked far too many. Toss also does play a vital part at Riverside with chasing being challenging owing to the slowing nature of the surface. It doesn’t mean that batting second has been very tough but definitely hasn’t been as comfortable as batting first. There are some power hitters in the Durham line-up and they’ll hope to win the toss, to make hay on this Riverside surface. Skipper Nathan Rimmington looks to rotate the bowlers while the batting combination might possibly be the same despite the lack of results in recent times. Which means more game time for Graham Clarke who at the top of the order remains Durham’s gun player along with David Bedingham with the duo expected to control things.
G Clark, A Lees, B Raine, D Bedingham(wk), B Carse, P Coughlin, S Steel, L Trevaskis, M Potts, N Rimmington(c)
Matthew Potts, Brydon Carse, Scott Steel, Paul Coughlin, Farhaan Behardien, Alex Lees, Nathan Rimmington, Ben Raine, Graham Clark, Liam Trevaskis, David Bedingham
The Derby side are just fresh from being outplayed comprehensively by Lancashire in Liverpool. Their batting reached a new low of finishing on a sub-100 total despite batting out the 20 overs. The conditions weren’t exactly great for shot-making but Derbyshire’s batsmen didn’t make things easier for themselves with some atrocious shot-selection. Obviously, the game was lost at the halfway mark itself and the batting failures have been far too many this season for them. Their senior-most batsmen in skipper Billy Godleman and Wayne Madsen have been struggling, and that seems to have rubbed off on the others with the batting lacking that spark of inspiration. The season so far seems a stark contrast to last year when they seemed like a well-oiled engine. With the runs not coming, it’s unfair to blame the bowlers who haven’t covered themselves with glory either. But when you compare their resources with the ball and the lack of runs from the batsmen, it’s been a decent effort. With qualification looking extremely bleak, it’s perhaps a good time for the team to play without any pressure. There could be some changes in the playing XI, as they search for their best combination.
B Godleman(c), L Reece, W Madsen, L du Plooy, M Critchley, A Hughes, A Dal, M McKiernan, Hosein(wk), E Barnes, S Conners
|L du Plooy||1.2||0||17||1||12.75|
|L du Plooy||1.2||0||17||1||12.75|
Michael Cohen, Wayne Madsen, Anuj Dal, Matt Critchley, Edward Barnes, Harvey Hosein, Leus du Plooy, Matt McKiernan, Luis Reece, Billy Godleman, Sam Conners
|Hr||Temp||Rain||W. speed||W. direction||Clouds|
|00h||11||0 mm.||3.58 k/h||From: SSW||98%|
|03h||11||0 mm.||4.15 k/h||From: SSW||99%|
|06h||12||0 mm.||4.61 k/h||From: SSW||99%|
|09h||15||0 mm.||8.15 k/h||From: SW||100%|
|12h||16||0 mm.||7.53 k/h||From: SW||100%|
|15h||15||0.16 mm.||6.93 k/h||From: WSW||100%|
|18h||14||0 mm.||5.7 k/h||From: WSW||99%|
|21h||13||0 mm.||4.63 k/h||From: SW||95%|
There is no rain forecast for match day but it’s expected to be extremely overcast with the sun not expected to break. The pitch should aid stroke-making as usual although the overhead conditions might just keep the pacers interested for a little bit, at least with the new ball.
Chester-le-Street has been a fantastic hunting ground for batsmen in limited-overs cricket, both domestic and international. Add to this the scenic view of the ground and it’s a blockbuster ground.
Teams batting first have enjoyed more success at this ground. Generally good batting pitches dictate captains to chase but the tracks here do slow a bit and that can at times make chasing a dicey affair. So, batting first should be the way to go.
It’s a battle of the bottom-placed sides and picking a favourite for this clash is a tricky task. But the home side Durham seem better-equipped with the conditions and are marginal favourites to win this clash.