Man of the Match: Keaton Jennings
Desperate Derbyshire face upbeat Lancs in a rematch
Momentum is an often-used word these days, more so in T20 tournaments. Good and bad streaks can happen rather quickly, and at the moment Derbyshire is at the wrong end of it with a winless sequence of four matches in the tournament. Time is clearly running out as they take on Lancashire in the return fixture, a few days after having lost a thriller to the same opponents. Both teams have endured a no-result in their respective previous games and while that won’t bother the Lancs, Derbyshire cannot afford to split points and will need to start getting wins on the board. Weather remains a concern in Liverpool with the only other game to be played being washed out due to rain. This is the final game of the season at this ground and that means that the surface will be a mystery of sorts. Derbyshire will need to get their batting sorted while the bowling has fared decently with respect to the resources at hand. For the Lancs, the challenge is to ensure that their largely untested middle-order finds form as that would make them a far more complete outfit. It’s Derbyshire’s winless streak against Lancashire’s unbeaten run, and unless the weather intervenes, one of them will be stopped.
They continue to be a top-heavy batting unit with the openers in tremendous form. The big-hitting Steven Croft and Dane Vilas following the openers further add to the solidity of the Lancs’ top-order. So far, they have ensured that the middle order hasn’t had much to do but there will be a time in the tournament when the middle order will be required to fire. That’s one of Lancashire’s concerns as the middle-order doesn’t look rampaging on paper although there is a bit of depth in the batting with a few all-rounders in there. They will hope that the middle order batsmen also start to find form but again, it’s also about how many opportunities they get in the middle. Alex Davies and Keaton Jennings continue to be in riveting form, taking the pressure of the rest. Ideally, Lancashire would want their top order to continue doing their job but sooner than later, the law of averages is bound to catch up. The bowling is doing pretty well, despite the lack of jaw-dropping names in the arsenal with Matthew Parkinson continuing to be their main wicket-taking option.
A Davies(wk), K Jennings, S Croft, D Vilas(c), J Bohannon, R Jones, D Lamb, T Hartley, T Bailey, L Hurt, M Parkinson
Matt Parkinson, Luke Wood, Tom Hartley, Tom Bailey, Alex Davies, Rob Jones, Dane Vilas, Danny Lamb, Keaton Jennings, Josh Bohannon, Stephen Parry
When the going gets tough, the tough get going. If this saying holds true for Derbyshire, it’s time for their skipper Billy Godleman to stand up. The usually reliable opener hasn’t contributed much yet and with Derbyshire desperately needing to win games, it’s their captain who needs to shoulder the maximum responsibility. As should Wayne Madsen, their leading run-scorer last year, who has found starts but not been able to convert them into bigger things. There is a lot of potential in the middle and lower order for Derbyshire but it’s up to these two stars to shepherd them in the batting department. The bowling has seen changes in both the games so far and that’s never ideal when a team is looking for a settled combination. It’s therefore evident that Derbyshire’s bowling also needs stability but if their batting can click consistently, it will help the bowling to feed off it.
B Godleman(c), M McKiernan, L Reece, W Madsen, L du Plooy, M Critchley, A Hughes, A Dal, H Hosein(wk), E Barnes, S Connors
Wayne Madsen, Anuj Dal, Leus du Plooy, Matt Critchley, Edward Barnes, Harvey Hosein, Alex Hughes, Matt McKiernan, Luis Reece, Billy Godleman, Sam Conners
|Hr||Temp||Rain||W. speed||W. direction||Clouds|
|00h||15||0.18 mm.||5.5 k/h||From: W||69%|
|03h||13||0 mm.||4.88 k/h||From: W||68%|
|06h||12||0 mm.||4.97 k/h||From: W||77%|
|09h||14||0 mm.||6.07 k/h||From: WSW||98%|
|12h||15||0 mm.||6.74 k/h||From: WSW||99%|
|15h||15||0 mm.||6.86 k/h||From: W||100%|
|18h||14||0 mm.||6.74 k/h||From: WSW||77%|
|21h||14||0.94 mm.||6.55 k/h||From: W||62%|
It’s expected to be a cool and overcast day in Liverpool. There’s no forecast for rain but it’s unlikely to be a bright day. A fresh pitch is also on view, given that no games have been played on it. It means good bounce and pace is guaranteed with the overhead conditions likely to give some help for the bowlers early on.
This ground in Liverpool is one of the newest cricketing venues in England with not much cricket scheduled at all. Only two matches have been slotted here in the Blast of which this is the last while the other game was abandoned due to rain.
Teams would prefer to chase, given the unknown nature of the track on offer. Also, an overcast day and a fresh pitch might give the bowlers a bit more help early on than in the second half.
Lancashire seems to be high on confidence and although Derbyshire will be desperate to get back to winning ways, we expect the Lancs to come up trumps in this fixture.