Main Men: Derbyshire Falcons
Last season's Vitality Blast semi-finalists are an ever-improving outfit in the shortest format of the game
Lancashire Lightning will be looking for their second victory of their Vitality Blast campaign when they come up against Derbyshire Falcons this evening.
After starting with a victory against Durham, Saturday’s match against Leicestershire Foxes was abandoned due to the bad conditions, with both sides getting a point each.
Derbyshire have also had their fair of disruption since the start of the new campaign, with not a single ball bowled in their opening game, and were soundly beaten by Yorkshire in their second game.
The weather played its role in the first meeting between the sides last season, as the game was abandoned due to rain, whilst the Falcons came away on top in the game at Emirates Old Trafford, winning by 11 runs.
Derbyshire enjoyed a good 2019, as they finished third in the Northern group, before proceeding to the semi-finals where they lost against eventual winners Essex.
Ahead of the game later today, we take a closer look at three men for Derbyshire who could cause a threat.
Now a stalwart of Derbyshire cricket, 36-year-old Wayne Madsen is an integral part of the Falcons' batting line-up.
The batter has scored more than 1,000 runs in each of the last ten seasons and has the ability to trouble any field, becoming renowned as one of the most consistent yet stylish players on the county cricket.
Since arriving at the club in 2009, Madsen has become one of the best batsmen in the club’s history.
His form in T20 cricket is truly impressive, with no other Derbyshire player having scored more than his 2,806 runs in the format.
Madsen led the way for the Falcons once again in the 2019 Vitality Blast, hitting 464 runs in 14 matches.
His best game came against Red Rose in their victory at Emirates Old Trafford, where he hit a total of 69, one of four half centuries last season.
Falcons captain, Billy Godleman, has been an important member of the squad since joining in 2013.
The 31-year-old joined the club from Essex, and prior to that represented Middlesex.
His performances in 2015 saw him named as Derbyshire’s Player of the Year and was given the captaincy for the following season.
Once again, he led from the front last year, as he guided the Falcons to their Vitality Blast Finals Day appearance.
Godleman’s T20 batting stats were second to only Madsen in the Derbyshire squad, as he hit 453 runs.
As well as this, he also posted his highest-ever score in this format, smashing 92 against Worcestershire in a strong victory.
The last time he came up against Lightning, the left-hander hit 57 as part of the Falcons’ 11 run victory last August.
In 79 T20 games throughout his career, the left-handed batsman has struck 1,654 runs and shows no signs of slowing down.
With Ravi Rampaul missing parts of this campaign, Matt Critchley could prove to be a key asset for Derbyshire on the bowling front with his leg-breaks as well as being a more than capable batter.
The 24-year-old has been making waves at the Incora County Ground since making his debut in 2015.
In only his second First-Class game, Critchley claimed the record of Derbyshire’s youngest ever century-maker at the age of 18 years and 270 days.
Throughout the course of last’s year’s Vitality Blast it was his bowling ability that caught the eye, as he took 17 wickets in total with an economy rate of just 7.13.
His biggest haul came against Worcestershire, where he took four in a 20-run victory.
One of the all-rounder’s highlights from last season was an excellent catch against Gloucestershire in the Falcons' quarter-final win, collecting the ball from his own bowling.
Whilst the 2019 Vitality Blast was not his most productive with the bat, hitting only 94 runs, he still remains a threat with over 3,000 to his name in all formats for Derbyshire.