Saturday, 29 July 2017

Derbyshire v Leicestershire T20 preview

The good old British weather may yet have the final word in the T20 Blast this year.

Last night it looked like Leicestershire had stolen a march on the rest of us, when they somehow got a game in at Grace Road but lost to a Durham side that started on minus four points and hadn't previously improved on that.

It just goes to show that anyone can beat anyone in this group. With six games to go, Derbyshire control their own destiny and a look at the table gives a degree of reassurance. We sit fourth, behind Yorkshire, Northamptonshire and Lancashire, all of who we have beaten.

There will be fine margins in those remaining six games, which include Leicestershire (home and away) Yorkshire (away) Nottinghamshire (home) Durham (home) and Worcestershire (home). Four out of six games at our home INTERNATIONAL ground. I have a feeling that net run rate will make or break things at the end and slip ups of any kind will be costly.

It is the stage of the season where dropped catches, loose overs and poor shot selection penalise teams more than ever. Leicestershire dropped a couple last night, an affliction that I hope carries through to tomorrow's game at the 3aaa County Ground.

Three successive home defeats have seen them drop from a lofty position at the top of the table to the lower reaches, so they will be dangerous opponents tomorrow. Nonetheless, if we bowl in the right areas and our senior men continue to produce the key performances, we can win this one and cement a place in the top four.

I don't see a changed side from the Lancashire win and it is a sign of our progress this summer that I was disappointed at last night's rain. There have been summers where a point from an abandoned match has been the summit of our ambitions. Not to mention one or two where getting them all rained off was probably the preference of supporters...

We go into these last six games in good spirits and I think key to progress will be our tuning back in after a two-week break for 'proper' cricket. We have three games after that break and will hopefully not lose any key personnel in that period to injury. I think it more likely that I will be proclaimed the 'Derbyshire Usain Bolt' than we will see Hardus Viljoen in the four-day game this year and I just hope that he uses the close season to get fit, rather than going back home to play cricket, only to return injured once more.

We haven't had value for money from the big South African, irrespective of which of the salary figures banded about you believe. He owes us big performances in the T20 and if he and Matt Henry fire, our prospects will be considerably enhanced.

Leicestershire? They have some good players and a first choice side that includes four South Africans, two Aussies and a Kiwi. Clint McKay was missing last night, a huge loss as he has been their 'go to' bowler, but a top four of Ronchi, Delport, Cosgrove and Ackerman is dangerous. Their problem has been that only the latter has so far scored a half century in the competition, while they are not the sharpest fielding side either. Former Derbyshire player Callum Parkinson has bowled well for them and they will be underestimated at our peril.

If we get a game tomorrow, it looks like being a contrived one. Heavy showers are forecast and it depends on how long they last and how often they come. I am sure Neil Godrich and his team are hard at work today, trying to get it fit for a game of some sort, but my gut feeling is a game of perhaps two overs per bowler.

Oh..and Derbyshire to win it.

Because we have to.

3 comments:

Jasper said...

In the event of teams finishing level on points isn't the first deciding factor still number of wins? At the moment this is to our advantage over some teams. Often run rate doesn't actually come in to it.

Peakfan said...

I believe so Jasper, but to fail to qualify because you had the same number of wins but worse NRR would be galling...

IanC said...

Leicester will be kicking themselves for losing that one. For Ronchi to get an unbeaten 63 off only half the number of balls of their innings,and them then only finishing on 88 is tough enough,but then you see that in the durham reply ,they bowled 2 extra balls ,due to no balls,and that would appear to have been the difference,as durham won with one ball to spare. There is no excuse for bowling no balls in t20.