Match Preview: Derbyshire Falcons vs Lancashire Lightning
Lancashire will go top of the NatWest T20 Blast North Group table with a second win inside a fortnight against the Derbyshire Falcons tomorrow.
Lightning sit on eight points from six matches alongside Roses rivals Yorkshire, who just sneak top spot at present thanks to a superior net run-rate.
Both sides have won three, lost one, tied one and had another rained off.
But the Vikings don’t play until Wednesday when they host Durham, meaning Steven Croft and company can steal a march when they visit the County Ground.
Derbyshire started so well with two wins from two, but they have since lost three of their last four matches, the first of which came against the Lancashire at Emirates Old Trafford last Sunday.
They sit fifth in the table with six points.
This match marks the halfway point in the group campaign for both sides.
The Falcons, one of only two counties never to have reached Finals Day alongside Worcestershire, have shown enough in the early stages of the competition to suggest that statistic could soon be rectified.
They won their first two games against champions Northants and Yorkshire before losing to Lancashire.
Gary Wilson’s side, who have a specialist T20 coach in New Zealander John Wright, then beat Worcester at New Road before losing to Notts and Birmingham, the latter at Edgbaston on Sunday.
Former captain Wayne Madsen has not only been their standout player, but the standout batsman in the entire competition so far.
The 33-year-old has scored 291 runs from his six outings, including three fifties.
He scored 52 in defeat against Lancashire, 58 not out in the win against Worcester and an unbeaten 86 in Friday’s defeat at Notts when they replied to 227-3 and only lost by five runs.
LAST TIME OUT
Lancashire secured a five-wicket win over the Falcons as they chased down 153 with nine balls to spare on a spin friendly surface at Emirates Old Trafford a week ago yesterday.
It was their second win of the competition at the fourth attempt.
Matt Parkinson starred with 3-17 from four overs on his limited overs debut before Jos Buttler marshalled the pursuit with 42 not out from 37 balls, only hitting three fours.
He came in with the score at 56-3 in the seventh over and shared 40 for the fifth wicket with Dane Vilas (20) and 43 unbroken for the sixth with Ryan McLaren, who finished unbeaten on 24.
WHAT THEY SAID
Liam Livingstone hit a career best 61 to help beat Durham yesterday, and he admits he is loving life at the top of the Red Rose order.
“It’s great fun because you can play your shots,” said the England man.
“They’re allowed two men on the boundary (in the first six overs), and you’ve always got two or three boundary options if you need them.
“It’s always about trying to get that balance right of not over attacking and being 20-2 whilst trying to be 60-0 at the end of the power play.
“One day I think me and Browny will go well together.”
Fingers crossed that comes tomorrow, which then leads into Friday at home against Notts and Sunday away at Birmingham.
“That’s what you want to do, get on a roll, play as many games as you can and get some wins on the board,” said the 23-year-old.
“All of a sudden when there are a couple of days off, you are in a good position.
“The boys are working as hard as ever to get to our full potential.
“We are nowhere near that, and we know that.
“It’s exciting when we’re winning games and not playing to our full potential.
“Derbyshire have started well. They’re always underestimated as a side, but I don’t really see why because they are very strong in Twenty20.
“It’s up to us to turn up and try and keep the momentum going.”
NatWest T20 Blast tickets
Don’t miss out on the biggest summer’s day out of the year and secure your tickets to watch the NatWest T20 Blast with tickets from £10 for adults and just £1 for kids.
Packed into just three short hours of explosive T20 cricket, the NatWest T20 Blast offers plenty of entertainment on and off-the-field for the entire family with themed nights, live music, street performers, games and activities, fancy dress stalls and plenty of food and drink in our Foster’s Fan Village.
Plus, with some of the biggest names in international cricket joining Lancashire this summer you can expect to see plenty of wickets flying and huge sixes at every match.
Lancashire Lightning NatWest T20 Blast home fixtures:
Lancashire Lightning v Notts Outlaws, Fri 28 July, Emirates Old Trafford
Lancashire Lightning v Worcestershire Rapids, Wed 16 August, Emirates Old Trafford
Lancashire Lightning v Birmingham Bears, Fri 18 August, Emirates Old Trafford
Hurry and buy your tickets now. You can buy yours tickets here, or by calling 08444 999 666* or emailing email@example.com.
*Calls to 08444 999 666 cost 5p per minute from a BT landline, other networks and mobiles will vary.