Wednesday, 16 August 2017

No bigger game than this: Leicestershire v Derbyshire T20 preview

Depending on results, Derbyshire may already have done enough to qualify for the T20 knockout stage. Yet professional pride and a desire for a home quarter-final should make them strive for at least one more win in the remaining two games.

Leicestershire, who we play tomorrow, have handed us some heavy and embarrassing defeats over the years. Hands up who still remembers a last ball 'catch' from Brad Hodge, or an inept batting effort that saw us rolled over by Josh Cobb when chasing only a modest victory target.

This year's model has been stronger, better organised, more resilient, more disciplined. Yes, there are still frailties and it is both ironic and impressive that the stand out performances have not come from the overseas roles. Imran Tahir has been tidy, but has not yet run through a side, while Matt Henry has bowled a couple of good spells yet been horribly expensive in others.

And yet, the whole is considerably more impressive than its constituent parts.The success has been the result of three of the top four being prolific, the fourth dynamic in the Power play. Then the middle order has come in and kicked on, chasing targets especially with a degree of composure (last night notwithstanding) that has rarely been the preserve of Derbyshire elevens in T20 cricket.

Can we qualify? I think so, from here, though this is no time for resting on laurels. Can we make finals day? I think we could, because I think the northern group the stronger of the two. As I have written before, if someone produces something special on a given night, anyone can beat anyone. Luis Reece did that last night, Billy Godleman at Worcester, Wayne Madsen's brilliance nearly beat Nottinghamshire, a team effort beat Yorkshire - twice.

If we keep that discipline, retain focus and - crucially - keep people fit, then we will be celebrating this weekend.

Tomorrow will be tough, with Cosgrove, Ronchi, Ackermann and company a far better side than they looked at Derby. Clint Mckay remains a key man with the ball and we will need to be at our best, or near it, once more.

I think we can do it, while wary of a side that has historically been strong in the format.

What about you?


Gary Spencer said...

How do Derbyshire bowl from 16th over to 20th over? I think we need to look at different method than the current. Henry isn't up to the job of the death bowler as we seen in many matches. I agree he has had some good spells and has improved since the Lancashire home game. I think if we can bowl better in the last 4 overs it will be harder to beat us. It would be intresting to see satistics of Derbyshire last 4 overs compared to other teams.

Anonymous said...

Looking at Friday''s weather forecast for Derby, I think it is even more important that we win tonight!


David Woolley said...

For once in my life, I would not be bothered if we are rained off tonight. Am I scared of Leicestershire...No. The pressure is all on them. In reality, they have to win their last two games to qualify.
I have said it before, that Leicestershire have a good top four, but I don't see much to worry us after that. They are also carrying a couple of, shall we say, less mobile players in their ranks, and I don't think their bowling is, with the exception of McKay, that good.
I like the way this Falcons team has developed. I think there is a belief in the team that they are capable of beating anyone. Big names don't appear to faze them. We can also win batting first or second.
We will have a much clearer picture after the games tonight.
I intend to enjoy the rest of the ride, hope for another win, and see what happens with regard to qualification. Let's be honest,in T20 it's a pretty new experience.

Shaun said...

A very good piece Peakfan. I certainly think we are capable of doing it but as I have supported the club for almost as many years as you, we both know that nothing is ever nailed on with Derbyshire. There are some big plusses this year. Madsen's season has been superb and Reece has shown himself to be a tremendous talent. Wouldn't dream of leaving him out. Billy has been an unforeseen excellent contributor, whilst Critchley and Hughes have supported well. Wilson and Smit are very important to us in a number of ways and imo have both been instrumental in developing our fantastic team spirit. The former can be explosive with the bat and Smit is humble and level-headed. Overall, this has been a fine effort so far. Lets hope it can go much further.

notoveryet said...

I think it's the possibility of rain on Friday that is the threat. It won't matter to qualification if it's rained off (although it would reduce the chance of a home quarter final) as long as we beat Leics tonight. If we lose, the chance to play and win against Worcs will probably be crucial.

Gary's question about scoring rates over the last 5 overs is interesting, and tend to suggest (with a couple of qualifications) that the last 5 overs are a problem for us. Batting, we average 9.6 per over, whilst our opponents have scored at 10.5 per over. Opposing teams have 4 times scored more than 60 in their last 5 overs, whilst we've done it only once. This could be a bit misleading for a couple of reasons, however. When we've won batting second, the scoring rate has often been slowing down as the target approaches with plenty of time in hand. Also, opposing teams may have had to throw caution to the winds more often, after falling behind in the earlier overs, as we take more wickets in the last 5 overs.

As often is the case with stats, they are interesting, but not much help in telling you what's likely to happen. I'm sure that Derbyshire will have much more elaborate analytics to inform their decision making, including who is best placed to bowl the closing overs. It won't help me be any more relaxed tonight if Henry is bowling in the closing overs again, though.

Tim, Chesterfield said...

I'm fairly hopeful tonight. Hadn't even looked at tomorrow's forecast and if it suggests rain it does add to the need to win tonight.

Come on lads, you can do it.

Tim, Chesterfield said...

Oh dear. That went badly.