Derbyshire haven't got a very good record in twenty-over cricket against Lancashire...
So read a preview I saw online today. No kidding, but then again we haven't got a very good record against anyone in this format...
We need to put it right. There's a good bunch of players at this club and it's time that they went out and proved it. While there's been a tough old start to the summer for well-documented reasons, we have a chance to start what is potentially a great weekend for old Peakfan with a bang.
After this game tomorrow, there's the big match at Wembley on Saturday, a night out with friends in the evening and then my first forty-over game since Gandhi was a lad on Sunday. The latter answers a player crisis of monumental proportions at my club, where we currently only have nine players for our match. If the two lads that Graeme Welch leaves out tomorrow fancy a hit, they're welcome to drop me a message...
Back to that game and the squad is pretty much as I expected, with a likely final choice between Jon Clare and Alex Hughes for one place, while Tony Palladino and Mark Footitt compete for the other - again, in my book. That would leave my side as follows:
That's eight bowlers and as long a batting line-up as you could wish for. There's also some quicker legs in the field and we can afford to give the openers their head in the first six overs. There's also an argument for sending in Tom Knight as a genuine pinch-hitter at the top, someone who would either clatter quick runs or get out, but it's a good-looking side and I don't think we could field a stronger one in this format.
Yes, there's five spinners, but they're different enough to bowl two or three overs each and keep the opposition guessing. If we're playing this game properly, at least four of them should be bowling
As for that opposition, Lancashire are a team without real stars, if one ignores Pakistan bowler Junaid Khan. There's no Ashwell Prince, James Anderson or Jos Buttler, but plenty of home-grown talent who we will underestimate at our peril. Kabir Ali is still a good new ball bowler, but we should be looking to win this game.
Paul Horton (capt), Andrea Agathangelou, Karl Brown, Jordan Clark,
Steven Croft, Alex Davies (wk), Junaid Khan, Arron Lilley, Kabir Ali,
Stephen Parry, Luis Reece, Tom Smith, Wayne White.
My forecast? I'll go for a welcome first win. That's if we don't make the same mistakes that littered the first, eminently winnable game last week.