MATCH PREVIEW: Derbyshire Falcons vs Lancashire Lightning
Derbyshire v Lancashire, Vitality Blast, North Group
Friday July 6, 2018
The 3aaa County Ground, 7pm.
The Lightning face last year’s North Group runners-up and beaten quarter-finalists in the Falcons, who will play their first fixture of 2018.
Derbyshire, similarly to Worcestershire last night, are an emerging white ball side and have added to their squad significantly ahead of this summer’s Blast.
Lancashire started their North Group campaign with a defeat against Worcester at Emirates Old Trafford, by five wickets with a ball remaining as the visitors chased down a target of 189.
Lancashire will choose from the same squad for the second night running.
Overseas quicks Lockie Ferguson (New Zealand) and Wahab Riaz (Pakistan) will both make their T20 debuts for the Falcons, while ex-West Indies fast bowler Ravi Rampaul, on a Kolpak deal, is also in the same boat.
The Falcons haven't had the smoothest preparation this week after Kim Barnett stepped down from his cricket advisory role (he was basically their director of cricket).
They will be without ex-Lancashire all-rounder Luis Reece due to a broken foot, although another has just signed in former second XI player Matt McKiernan.
Derbyshire, led by specialist T20 coach John Wright from New Zealand for the second year running, will have a new look about them this summer.
They won eight of 14 group games in 2017 before being beaten by Hampshire in a home quarter-final.
The Falcons have never reached Finals Day.
They have recruited Scotland duo Safyaan Sharif (seamer) and Calum MacLeod, the batsman who smashed England to all parts in the recent Edinburgh ODI, while Scottish national coach Grant Bradburn has joined the coaching staff to assist Wright and Dominic Cork, who is bowling coach.
Derbyshire gained revenge for an early defeat at Old Trafford with a 35-run win at the County Ground in last July.
Luis Reece’s career best 97 off 55 balls underpinned their imposing 211-5 having been inserted.
The Lightning raced to 93-1 in the eighth over of the chase, with openers Liam Livingstone and Karl Brown hitting quick-fire forties and Arron Lilley 38.
Unfortunately, they lost eight quick wickets, slipping to 163-9. They finished on 176-9. New Zealand quick Matt Henry took three wickets.
WHAT THEY SAID:
Keaton Jennings last night urged Lancashire to cut out the costly errors that hamstrung their chances of victory over Worcestershire, and it was something that plagued them in the recent 50-over competition as well.
However, with 13 games remaining, there is time for the Lightning to turn things around.
And former captain Steven Croft says there were enough positives from that RL50 competition to indicate it can be done.
"We can definitely take a lot from the one-day comp. We put in some good performances and could have won every game,” he said.
"It proves we're a good side and can win games. It was just we had vital moments where we either switched off or let the foot off the gas.
“As long as we learn from those moving forward, we can turn those losses into wins.”
Buy Lancashire Lightning T20 tickets
Tickets are now on sale for the Vitality Blast at Emirates Old Trafford - and starting from just £5 for adults and £1 for juniors, you won't want to miss out on BIG T20 games in Manchester in 2018.
Enjoy three-hours of non-stop entertainment at Emirates Old Trafford with live music, boundary performances, themed nights, plus games, activities and plenty of food and drink in our Foster’s Fan Village.
The Vitality Blast is this summer’s biggest day out!
2018 Lancashire Lightning T20 fixtures:
- Northants Steelbacks (Trafford LIVE), Sun 8 July - TICKETS
- Derbyshire Falcons (Bails & Ales), Sat 14 July - TICKETS
- Yorkshire Vikings, Fri 20 July - TICKETS
- Leicestershire Foxes (Fancy Dress), Fri 3 Aug - TICKETS
- Durham Jets, Tue 7 Aug - TICKETS
- Birmingham Bears (Friday Night LIVE), Fri 10 Aug - TICKETS