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|Billy Ashley Godleman||57||46||5||0||123.91|
The tightly packed North group promises a fight to the very finish as teams switch places with every game. Sitting right in the thick of things is Leicestershire who currently has three wins from six matches. Its opponent, Derbyshire has had a very poor start to the Vitality Blast and has just one win from its five matches. There is still enough time for Derbyshire to make a comeback, though, and we know better than to count out any side so early into the competition.
Leicestershire has been a little erratic in the Vitality Blast 2018 so far. Its batting has swung from being very good to very poor in between matches and fans are uncertain as to which team is going to show up on the park that day.
A couple of players have stood out for Leicestershire in the matches played so far. The first one has to Raine, who has the world taking notice of his six hitting abilities. Raine has hit 17 sixes in the tournament so far, has one century and one fifty in the tournament already, and is scoring runs at a strike rate of 208.25.
These are phenomenal numbers and are winning Leicestershire matches whenever Raine comes off.
Dexter, Ackerman, Delport, and Cosgrove have been good supporting acts but have so far been unable to get the job done with consistency in the absence of that Raine boost to the score. The Leicestershire batting is looking in good shape but is definitely susceptible to a collapse.
The other player who has done really well is Parkinson. His eleven wickets in the tournament are well ahead of the next best in the team. Raine with 8 wickets has contributed in the bowling as well.
With overseas players Nabi and Abbass picking wickets and making run-scoring difficult, it is easy to see why Leicestershire is a dangerous opponent for any side. The players will definitely see a struggling Derbyshire side as a potential win to be had.
Neil Dexter, C Delport, Mark Cosgrove, Ben Raine, Colin Ackermann, Mohammad Nabi, Ned Eckersley, Tom Wells, Callum Parkinson, Mohammad Abbas, Gavin Griffiths.
Four losses on the trot were threatening to become a ditch from which the team may not be able to emerge but a fantastic pair of innings from Callum MacLeod and Will Madsen broke that losing streak.
MacLeod stroked his first hundred of this edition of the Vitality Blast and laid the platform for a huge total. Madsen also contributed will with a quick fifty to ensure the teams total was beyond the opposition.
The match also highlighted the reliance that Derbyshire has on the pair at the moment. MacLeod has 233 runs in the competition, Madsen 145, and no one else has yet reached a total of 75 runs for the tournament.
Derbyshire threatens to become a two-wicket team where opponents know they can always crawl back into the match by getting rid of Madsen and MacLeod. Batsmen like Godleman, Critchley, and Wilson will have to do much better in the upcoming matches.
Derbyshire, though, is aiming to win most of its matches on the back of its bowling. Thir side boasts an excellent bowling unit with the like of Lockie Ferguson, Wahab Riaz, Ravi Rampaul, and Hardus Viljoen in the playing eleven. That’s four quality international fast bowlers in one side.
The strategy has clearly not worked for Derbyshire up until now but the team management has shown faith and will likely persist with the same set of players. Leicestershire is a side that is prone to collapses and Derbyshire’s bowling might be the perfect unit to trigger such an event.
BA Godleman, Calum MacLeod, WL Madsen, MJJ Critchley, Anuj Dal, GC Wilson, AL Hughes, Hardus Viljoen, Ravi Rampaul, Wahab Riaz, Lockie Ferguson.
The team winning the toss is likely to field first
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A lot of rain has been forecast for Leicester on match day, although, the rain is expected to ease up in the evening around the time of the match. We could have a delayed start and a truncated game if we are able to get a result in at all.
The pitch at Grace Road has been good for batsmen but the seamers should be able to get some movement for the first few overs. The outfield will be heavy thanks to the rain and will make boundaries a little harder to come by.
A score of 160 can be considered par.
Derbyshire has won three out of the last five matches against Leicestershire in T20 cricket. The side is playing away from home but has fast bowlers that should be able to benefit from whatever moisture is in the air and on the pitch. We are backing the away team in this one.
Back Derbyshire to win.