About the Match
The Northants with 4 points from two matches played so far lead the points table of the North Division of teams contesting in the NatWest T20 series; they now face Derbyshire, who are at the bottom of the table with zero points, in their own backyard on 29th May. The home team has lost matches against Leicestershire and Lancashire, both while chasing huge targets; they will be eager to reinvent themselves and bring out the best especially while playing on home turf. The Northants on the other hand have dominated their opponents so far and will exert all kinds of pressure tactics to do so once again on Thursday.
Chasing 198 runs against Leices on 16th May, Marcus North put up a spirited effort scoring a brilliant 90 runs off just 47 balls, which comprised of 6 fours and 6 sixes, but it went in vain as none of the other batsmen withstood the pressure and the lost the game by 27 runs. The bowling efforts were also a disappointment as they gave away too many runs and were unable to cause a dent on the opponents even with regular wickets. Against Lancashire, the bowlers gave a much better performance; but they need to have more firepower and work as a team to cause major upsets. With a target of 170, the batsmen started their chase against Lancashire with cooler nerves; Moore and Hughes put up an opening stand of 39 runs and Moore built a good partnership with North before getting run-out at 40. After North’s dismissal, the lower order gave a good fight but it wasn’t enough to win; the team definitely has talented players and they will be eager to bounce back with a win here.
The team is on a winning spree and looks well placed to continue on its momentum here; against Yorkshire, it was a close contest as they successfully chased 163 runs with one ball to spare. Wicketkeeper batsman Ben Duckett, who scored an unbeaten 39 off 29 balls, kept his nerves together and smashed away the winning runs along with Graeme White to take his team to victory. Earlier, Willey had started well to post 43 runs off 29 balls but a string of dismissals had created a scare in the middle; Ian Butler’s 4-25 was also the talking point as his efforts along with those of his teammates, restricted the Yorks to 162 runs. Against Leicestershire too, the Northants pulled off a win batting second, this time chasing a total of 177 and winning by 2 wickets with 2 balls to spare. Here again Willey contributed majorly with his superb 95 off 45 balls but the others fell easily like a pack of cards; again White was at the crease to score the winning runs this time along with Stone. Butler and Azharullah featured as the wicket takers, claiming 2 wickets each but it was the batting efforts that saw them through a second time. The team’s morale is boosted with these wins and they will collectively strive to keep their winning momentum going.
While the Northants have proved to be a difficult team to beat by pulling off victories even from difficult situations, Derbyshire has the home advantage and looks confident to finally convert its efforts to a much-needed win here.
Derbyshire, 2.30 @ Bet365