About the Match
The NatWest T20 Blast 2017 has finally reached its knock-out stages after the most exciting group stages we have ever seen in any T20 competition. That it came between 18 teams and over such an extended period of time makes it even more remarkable.
The first quarter-final will be played between Derbyshire, who finished second in the North table and Hampshire, who finished third. No team has made it to finals day more than Hamshire while Derbyshire has never made it up until now.
Even though Derbyshire finished second on their table and have a home fixture to aid them, they will be going into this quarter-final as the underdogs. Hampshire is an excellent T20 team that has 6 appearances in the finals day while Derbyshire was given almost no chance before the tournament.
In reaching this far, however, Derbyshire has proved that it has all the tools in its bag to be able to progress further.
The one standout player for Derbyshire this year has been Wayne Madsen. He has 522 runs to his name, the most for anyone in his team and third most in the entire competition, and taken 14 wickets as well.
Now that the two batsmen who had more runs than he did have been knocked out of the competition, Madsen will be targeting a couple of good scores to finish as the top run-getter of the tournament. The other batsman that Derbyshire has relied on is Luis Reece. He scored 4 fifties in the group stages and has a total of 417 runs to his name. He is also very capable of winning the game off his own bat.
That being said, there is no doubt that the real strength of this Derbyshire team is bowling. Imran Tahir, Hardus Viljoen, Matt Henry and Wayne Madsen have been excellent for their team with Henry in particular just peaking at the right time.
Can there be any better bowler to turn to than Imran Tahir in a crunch T20 match? His 17 wickets in the tournament have been fantastic but this is the point in the competition that Tahir will really want to come good.
If Derbyshire has to move on in the competition, it will be their bowling that wins the match for them.
A fantastic start to the tournament was followed by a poor end to the group stages and as a result, Hampshire will not be playing a home quarter-final. It is not the end of the world, however, it does mean that Hampshire comes into this game with diminishing momentum.
On their side, though, is the tremendous experience of having been in this situation before and navigating it successfully. Hampshire’s last match was horrendous. They gave up 189 runs and then folded for 91. Only two batsmen in the entire lineup were able to get into double scores while all of their frontline bowlers also went for over 10 runs an over except Shahid Afridi.
They will need to forget that match and regroup quickly because that is the only option they have.
Hampshire has Mason Crane returning to the squad following his international commitments while Michael Carberry has recovered from injury too. Jimmy Adams and Brad Wheal are also a part of the 14 for this game.
The runs for Hampshire have come from the bat of James Vince, 431 in total, with support from George Bailey, 270, and Tom Alsop, 233. Sean Ervine and Shahid Afridi are also dangerous down the order giving Hampshire a pretty long batting lineup.
The bowling also looks very strong led by Mason Crane, Kyle Abbott, and Shahid Afridi.
With champion leg-spinners on both sides, we will definitely see some attacking bowling in this match.
Pitch and Conditions
The forecast is not too encouraging for the match with rain expected throughout the day. We can only hope that the met department has got it wrong like so many times in the past. The pitch should be good for batting although could offer some movement if it keeps on sweating under the covers before the match.
Derbyshire to wi