Vitality T20 Blast: Leicestershire look to strengthen knockout chances against winless Derbyshire
Leicestershire are likely to be too good for Durham
The race for the knockout spots is heating up and Leicestershire are among the prime candidates to qualify but they do have a stiff opponent in Lancashire. The two teams face each other in the last fixture for both sides, and that could probably be a virtual quarterfinal. But before that, Leicestershire need to ensure that they don’t take their foot off the pedal.
Their next encounter is against the desperately out-of-form Derbyshire unit who are winless this season. It’s been a stark contrast for Billy Godleman’s men who impressed one and all last season. They have found ways to lose games and their previous fixture against the Notts was proof of that.
While they are down on confidence, the fact that they don’t have a chance to qualify means that they could spoil the party for other sides and this is what Leicestershire will be wary of. Particularly after enduring a defeat to the low-lying Durham side. Both teams have some quality strokeplayers and hitters in their ranks, and with Grace Road generally throwing up decent surfaces, we could get a fun-filled contest.
The loss against Durham would have stung Leicestershire as it has put them behind Lancashire in the race for a knockout spot. Things are very much in their control though, and they would want to get back to winning ways.
The batting failed to come to terms with a slightly slowish Chester-le-Street surface and the total posted was well below-par. It was a convincing win for Durham and that has also dented the net run rate for Leicestershire a bit. The top order remains their biggest strength with the trio of Gareth Delany, Aaron Lilley and skipper Colin Ackermann being the gun batsmen in the side.
The onus will be on them to shoulder the responsibility of the batting unit because the middle order hasn’t been reliable so far. The bowling isn’t perfect either but has managed to work around its limitations and if the batting can perform consistently, Leicestershire should be back to winning ways sooner than later. The fact that Ackermann and Delany also bowl gives the side balance, and they can tinker with playing an extra batsman if the need arises.
N Welch, G Delany, A Lilley, C Ackermann(c), H Dearden, L Hill(wk), T Taylor, B Mike, C Parkinson, W Davis, G Griffiths
Gavin Griffiths, George Rhodes, Lewis Hill, Colin Ackermann, Nick Welch, Ben Mike, Arron Lilley, William Davis, Callum Parkinson, Harry Dearden, Gareth Delany
The difference between Derbyshire’s 2019 and 2020 seasons are as contrasting as day and night. They haven’t been able to find a settle combination and it’s no surprise that they are at the bottom of the table without a single win to their name. They did come close in the last game against the mighty Notts and that would have been a massive mood-lifter if they had got across the line. But when losing is frequent, it becomes a habit of sorts and Derbyshire ended up throwing away the game from a comfortable position. The bowling has been a big let-down this season and while some of the pitches were also harsh on the bowlers, Derbyshire don’t have a lot of excuses to cover up that flaw.
They have tried several combinations in the bowling department but nothing has given them the desired result. It has meant an overdependency on the batting and with both Wayne Madsen and Billy Godleman failing to find form, things have worsened. The former did get a cracking fifty last game but has largely been underwhelming. Unless they manage to improve drastically across all departments, the win drought will continue.
L Reece, B Godleman(c), W Madsen, L du Plooy, M Critchley, A Hughes, M McKiernan, A Dal, H Hosein(wk), M Cohen, D Melton
Michael Cohen, Wayne Madsen, Anuj Dal, Leus du Plooy, Dustin Melton, Matt Critchley, Alex Hughes, Matt McKiernan, Brooke Guest, Luis Reece, Billy Godleman
|Hr||Temp||Rain||W. speed||W. direction||Clouds|
|00h||16||0 mm.||1.56 k/h||From: ESE||0%|
|03h||16||0 mm.||1.36 k/h||From: E||0%|
|06h||15||0 mm.||1.99 k/h||From: E||14%|
|09h||20||0 mm.||2.21 k/h||From: ENE||17%|
|12h||24||0 mm.||1.61 k/h||From: E||48%|
|15h||26||0 mm.||2.26 k/h||From: E||84%|
|18h||21||0 mm.||2.26 k/h||From: NE||86%|
|21h||18||0 mm.||1.9 k/h||From: ENE||94%|
It’s expected to be a clear day with no forecast for rain. Temperatures should be in the mid-20s with occasional bouts of sun expected. Pitches have generally been good to bat on but also tended to be on the slower side just a bit.
Grace Road is a scenic ground and has been host to quite a few international games, including World Cup contests. It’s used mostly for international white-ball cricket and County cricket.
Teams wouldn’t mind losing the toss at this ground as it’s generally a doubt for the captain whether to bat first or chase. The pitch doesn’t change a great deal during the 40 overs but it remains slow and sometimes, a good score can put massive pressure on the chasing side. At the same time, it’s comfortable to know the score for some teams as they can plan things better.
Leicestershire might have slipped in their last game to Durham but are too good a side on form and potential to drop two games in a row. Especially as this is a home game. Leicestershire should end up winning this game.
Leicestershire are likely to be too good for Durham