About the Match
The North group of the NatWest T20 Blast has thrown up some surprises up until now as Leicestershire sit on top with three wins from three while some of the more fancied teams languish in mid-table. Two of the teams that are threatened with the possibility of falling too far away from the lead group, Worcestershire Rapids, and Derbyshire Falcons, take on each other and try to get their faltering campaign back on the rails.
The Rapids are still to register a win in this year’s NatWest T20 Blast and the glaring reason for their two losses up until now seems to be their batting. Joe Clarke was supposed to be their batting mainstay and set the tone for the rest of the team but with only 13 runs in two matches, he has failed to live up to expectations up until now.
The other batsmen in the team have also not fired and only OB Cox has a fifty to his name. None of the other batsmen actually total 50 runs in the two matches they have played and that is a huge problem for Worcestershire.
None of the top order of this team is going to make opposition bowlers tremble but Daryl Mitchell, Brett D’Oliveira, and Joe Leach would expect to provide better support to Cox and Clarke. Clearly a better bowling team than it is a batting one, Worcestershire needs to ensure its bowling lineup has a few runs to defend otherwise it is just no use.
Speaking of the bowling, Mitchell Santner and John Hastings add quality to a reliable bowling lineup but once again, there is a lack of a game changer in this team that is going to cost them. The NatWest T20 Blast has become very competitive and most teams seem to have improved this year. Unfortunately, it looks like Worcestershire is in for another poor T20 competition this year.
There was a lot of talk about how Derbyshire had made the right move by hiring John Wright as their Coach for the T20 Blast because of his experience and canny insights. The players that Derbyshire hired seemed to reflect that as they went into the tournament with Imran Tahir, Matt Henry and Hardus Viljoen in their bowling lineup.
Two wins from three matches is not bad but some glaring issues were brought to the fore in their last loss.
A massive part of the problem is the lack of form Matt Henry has been showing. In three games, where he bowled 10 overs, he has only taken 2 wickets and given away runs at an economy of 12.10. This is unacceptable from a leading overseas player and Derbyshire needs to rectify that as soon as possible.
The batting is also a little too dependent on Wayne Madsen, although Luis Reece and Matt Critchley have also contributed.
Derbyshire is a team with a world class bowling attack and this is why they can never be counted out. Both Tahir and Viljoen already have 6 wickets each to their names from just 3 games and this bodes well for them.
All they need is a couple of batsmen to hit form.
Pitch and Conditions
The weather conditions are expected t be good for cricket with some cloud cover around and the pitch should be an absolute belter. The New Road ground has short boundaries that could provide some high scoring cricket.
Derbyshire Falcons to wi