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|Billy Ashley Godleman||60||37||4||3||162.16|
|A Leus du Plooy||12||8||2||0||150.00|
The North Group of Vitality T20 League is jam-packed in the middle with not much to choose between the fourth-placed Warwickshire Bears and Leicestershire who are placed at the bottom of the table. In between them are Derbyshire Falcons and Northamptonshire Steelbacks who are on seventh and eighth positions respectively. They are set to meet each other in an important encounter on Friday, 2nd August at County Ground, Northampton. Derbyshire have played an extra match as compared to the Northants and will be desperate to win the upcoming encounter. A win will take them to the fourth spot, disregarding the net run-rate which is what they'll be aiming for and the same goes for the Northants.
Northamptonshire started the tournament in a rather sedate manner, and just when they were beginning to pick-up, rain halted their charge. After losing their first two matches, the Steelbacks bounced back from the bottom spot of the ladder to the seventh spot.
Their last match, which was against Yorkshire, was abandoned due to rain wherein they had to stay content with just one point. Before that, however, they cruised to a comfortable victory against Birmingham Bears at Northampton. Playing at the same venue could prove to be of considerable advantage for them as it was the case in their last match.
Batting first, Northamptonshire could not get off to the start they were looking for as they lost Ben Curran, Adam Rossington, and Joshua Cob inside the powerplay. After that, however, R Keogh who has already been in cracking form in the tournament so far, and Alex Wakely combined to take them to a reasonably good score of 155.
While it was the pair of Rob Keogh and Alex Wakely which kept them in the business, it was their bowlers who set up the win for them. Sanderson and Faheem Ashraf were splendid upfront as they both picked up a couple of wickets up front to rock the Bears early in their chase. Buck, Pretorius, and White kept picking up wickets at the regular intervals as Steelbacks won the match by 22 runs.
Ben Curran, Adam Rossington, Josh Cobb, Rob Keogh, Alex Wakely, Dwaine Pretorius, Matt Coles, Faheem Ashraf, Graeme White, Nathan Buck, Ben Sanderson.
Just like the Steelbacks, Derbyshire, too, have had a match washed-out due to rain. Their campaign has exactly been opposite to what it has been for Northamptonshire.
They got off to a solid start in the tournament, with an inspiring win over Yorkshire, but have looked a mere shadow of themselves since then. They lost three matches with a wash-out in between their second and the third loss.
Although they have a pretty good batting lineup with Leus du Plooy in decent form, the lack of consistency has hurt them. Barring Leus du Plooy who has scored 179 runs in four innings, none of their batsmen have scored runs consistently. Billy Godleman looked in the first match but hasn't looked as good since then. Their bowlers have done reasonably well up until now, and they pushed the Rapids hard in their previous match as well.
Luis Reece, BA Godleman, WL Madsen, A Leus du Plooy, MJJ Critchley, AL Hughes, D Smit, Fynn Hudson, MRJ Watt, Ravi Rampaul, WB Rankin.
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Both the sides have done poorly in the competition so far, with each of them winning just one game in total. Even though, they have played well, the ability to keep their nerve in crunch situations have hurt them both. Derbyshire Falcons have had issues with consistency, but with the batting stalwarts like Billy Godleman and Leus du Plooy, and bowling doing reasonably well, the Steelbacks are better placed to win the upcoming fixture.
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