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|Billy Ashley Godleman||38||38||2||1||100.00|
We are just about into the final leg of Vitality T20 Blast before the playoffs and things are beginning to take nicely in the North Group points table. Up next is Derbyshire taking on Worcestershire in an away game which is to be played on 9th August 2018. Worcestershire are bossing the points table with seven wins and just two defeats in their ten matches, whereas Derbyshire are just knocking the door to get into the top four and win here will put them jointly at second spot with Durham and Yorkshire.
Worcestershire continued to wreak havoc on their opponents as they whistled past the star-studded lineup of the defending champions, Nottinghamshire. The departure of Martin Guptill to play in the Caribbean Premier League for Barbados Tridents was a big setback for the Worcestershire, but Callum Ferguson made the best of the opportunity presented.
He scored his first T20 hundred as Worcestershire scored their biggest total of the season, 206. Ferguson latched onto the opportunity and scored an aggressive knock of 102 off just 56 deliveries. A win here have put them three points clear of next best team in the points table, Durham and look well set to qualify to the quarter-finals from here.
Moeen Ali played a good second fiddle role to Ferguson as the duo rampaged past the mediocre Nottinghamshire bowling. To complement their batting, bowlers did a wonderful job and never allowed the Outlaws to get going. Wayne Parnell got rid of Alex Hales early in the innings and the rest of their batting line-up capitulated rapidly. The run out of Steven Mullaney acted like a catalyst as the Notts were never able to recover after his dismissal. They were eventually folded for 134, losing the match by 72 runs.
Joe Clarke, Callum Ferguson, Ross Whiteley, Brett D Oliveira, WD Parnell, Ben Cox, Daryl Mitchell, Ed Barnard, George Rhodes, Luke Wood, Patrick Brown.
After a brief spell of low-percentage results, Derbyshire Falcons bounced back into the contention with an impressive win over Birmingham Bears. Derbyshire batted well on a surface that was sluggish as somehow reached a competitive total of 143. Calum Macleod top-scored for them with a good 39-run knock.
Despite the slow surface, their total didn't look threatening at all at the halfway stage, but they fought back with the ball in a brilliant manner. Wahab Riaz and Ravi Rampaul bowled well in the opening couple of overs as the Bears were reduced to just 4 for 2 after the first two overs.
The Falcons did an excellent job thereafter to strange the Bears and pick wickets at regular intervals. Colin de Grandhomme was dismissed at the halfway stage and the target looked remote for the Bears with them reeling at 49 for 4. Grant Elliot fought hard and played a valiant knock of 40-ball fifty but excellent death overs by Rampaul and Riaz caught Birmingham Bears short by 16 runs.
BA Godleman, Calum MacLeod, WL Madsen, BT Slater, GC Wilson, MJJ Critchley, AL Hughes, Hardus Viljoen, Wahab Riaz, Lockie Ferguson, Ravi Rampaul.
Worcestershire have been the best team so far in the competition and there's no second thought to it. They have a very good chance of making it to their first final appearance, but they'd first have to qualify for the playoffs and win the quarter-finals - where they've lost thrice. Derbyshire, on the other hand, have returned to the contention in a beautiful manner after a weak start and appear to be in good rhythm. Considering recent form, and teams on paper, we believe the Worcestershire might just edge past Derbyshire to win this important home encounter.