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|Billy Ashley Godleman||77||55||4||2||140.00|
Five wins from his last six matches have been a remarkable turnaround for Derbyshire which lost its first four matches in the tournament. Its poor start has meant that Derbyshire still needs to perform very well in its remaining matches to have a chance of making it into the quarter-finals. Its opponent in this game is Northamptonshire, a side that has not won a single match in the ten it has played this season and is already out of the running for a quarter-final spot.
Can Derbyshire continue its resurgence will Northamptonshire prove to be a banana peel for the side?
Madsen, Godleman, and MacLeod have all hit form at the right time for Derbyshire to start winning matches regularly. The team, which has clearly been formed around a gun bowling attack, has struggled for runs this season and it would be happy to see performances from its leading batsmen in the last few matches.
MacLeod has hit one century but has not gone past the fifty mark again. Derbyshire will want him to add to that tally even as he continues to be aggressive up the order. Madsen has passed fifty three times now and is reclaiming his role as the side’s premier batsman.
With support from Critchley and Wilson down the order, Derbyshire is looking like a much better batting side.
Their bowling attack would be licking its lips at the prospect of going up against a struggling Essex team. Lockie Ferguson, Ravi Rampaul, Hardus Viljoen, Alex Hughes, and Wahab Riaz have all done very well this season.
It’s quite remarkable that Derbyshire has chosen to stuff its side with international quality fast bowlers when everyone else was looking for the next big wrist spinner or mystery bowler. With 14 wickets to his name at an economy rate of just 6.59, Ferguson is the undoubted leader of the attack.
He is the one that Derbyshire turns to when they need a wicket or some control at the death. We expect him to add some more scalps to his name in this encounter.
BA Godleman, Calum MacLeod, WL Madsen, Anuj Dal, GC Wilson, MJJ Critchley, AL Hughes, Hardus Viljoen, Wahab Riaz, Lockie Ferguson, Ravi Rampaul.
At what point does a poor season start to snowball into an absolutely terrible one? It is difficult to know but Northamptonshire is certainly well beyond that point and is in a storm of misery.
The team has just one tie to show for its efforts and a squad that looked pretty decent at the start of the tournament resembles a shadow of itself right now. We are struggling to put down one specific reason for the downfall Northamptonshire has faced after a successful last season but the inconsistency in its batting has to be an obvious one.
Duckett, Wakeley, Cobb, and the rest have played some incredible innings but the team still ends up on the losing side. Cobb scored a century in the last match to no avail, Duckett and Levi have scores of 90+ but ended up on the losing side, and the team has recorded seven fifties in total so far.
This suggests that a strong batting lineup is firing in bits and pieces while a poor bowling unit is unable to keep its end of the bargain. The batting strength is present in this team and that will make Derbyshire nervous.
None of the bowlers in the Northamptonshire squad have been able to leave an imprint on this season. Gleeson, Prasanna, Buck, and Kleinveldt will need to be at their best against an in-form Derbyshire batting side.
Northamptonshire will hope that its batsmen are able to weather the Derbyshire bowling attack and then be able to take out its batting unit with a group of under-performing bowlers. Not a very likely scenario but it could happen.
Ricardo Vasconcelos, Ben Duckett, Josh Cobb, Alex Wakely, Charlie Thurston, Ben Curran, S Prasanna, Rory Kleinveldt, Ben Sanderson, Brett Hutton, Nathan Buck.
The team winning the toss is likely to field first
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A clear day with only a 10% chance of rain has been forecast in Derby. The pitch at Derby is going to be hard, fast, and excellent for the batsmen. The fast bowlers are able to get some response from the surface but overall it is going to be the batsmen the decide the fate of this match.
A score of around 180 should be considered par, especially considering the two strong batting sides.
Derbyshire is playing at home and has been in excellent form off-late. We are backing it to win this match.