Vitality t20 Blast 2018 – Northamptonshire Steelbacks vs Derbyshire Falcons Preview

AT A GLANCE

When? Thursday 19thJuly, 18:30 (UK)

Where? The County Ground

Weather? 19-20c with sun and cloud

What channel is it on? Sky Sports Cricket

Where can I stream the match? Sky Sports subscribers can stream the match online via Sky Go

Are tickets still available? https://www.ecb.co.uk/tickets/domestic

HEAD-TO-HEAD
All-time meetings: Northamptonshire Steelbacks W6, Derbyshire Falcons W2, No Result 4

THE TEAM NEWS

NORTHAMPTONSHIRE STEELBACKS

Coach: David Ripley

Captain: Alex Wakely

  • Big pressure on the Steelbacks here to break their duck as they essentially need to win eight of their remaining ten matches to have a chance of reaching the top four places after four consecutive losses to start the season.

  • The biggest issue for them in the tournament to date has been their abysmal bowling and fielding, which has resulted in a net run rate of -2.108 with only Cobb and Prasanna having economy rates under 10.

  • Coach David Ripley admitted that confidence was low and changes are on the cards with Richard Gleeson, Luke Proctor, Saif Zaib and Kyle Coetzer are pushing to come into the starting line-up.

DERBYSHIRE FALCONS

Coach: John Wright

Captain: Gary Wilson

  • The Falcons are in a similar situation as the Steelbacks having lost their opening four matches so they desperately need the win as their better run rate keeps them ahead in the standings.

  • Unlike the Steelbacks however, it is their batting that needs significant improvement as only MacLeod (129 runs) and Madsen (116) have scored more than 57 total runs across the four matches so they need more contributions elsewhere.

  • Billy Godleman comes into the 15-man squad for this match and could be handed a chance while they will hope for another strong bowling performance with Wahab Riaz and Lockie Ferguson in impressive form right now.

THE PREDICTION

It is difficult to have much confidence in either of these teams right now as they sit at the bottom of the North Group. Northamptonshire have been woeful – comfortably the worst team in the opening rounds of matches – as their bowling has been smacked to all parts of the country. They do face a rather limited batting line-up however here as Derbyshire really do rely on one or two players. Conversely, the Falcons' bowling attack is impressive with Riaz and Ferguson capable of taking wickets and being economical. That particular unit could be the difference maker here, but this one really is too unpredictable to call.