There is one match in the Vitality Blast and it comes in the North Group, which is the focus for much of the week to come, when high flying Lancashire take on a Derbyshire who are languishing at the wrong end of the table.
We are still in the early stages of the competition but Derbyshire certainly won’t want to lose their opening four matches while Lancashire will put themselves in a nice position if they can win this one so another good game of cricket is expected.
Lancashire dropped their opening match of the season when leaders Worcestershire chased down a monster score against them but they have rebounded very well since then to overhaul Derbyshire and Northamptonshire. If you were looking for reasons to have a pop at Lancashire you can point out those two foes prop up the table but that would be harsh.
It is very rare that at this stage of the season both the batting and the bowling is in good order but that is certainly the position which Lancashire find themselves in since that first game setback. They have performed very well with the ball in the last two matches which has taken the pressure off their batsmen who have been able to show what they can do.
It has been a very tough beginning to the campaign for Derbyshire. They are taken this competition seriously by bringing in extra overseas players and specialist coaches and it might be that the pressure of that is weighing them down a little. The big problem they have had is they are not putting up enough runs.
To be fair to Derbyshire they have lost to the top three in the table at the present time but the concern would be that in their last two matches they have never truly been in the contest in the second innings. That is clearly something they are going to have to sort out if they are to make it out of this group, which you would have to say is already looking unlikely.
Lancashire have named an unchanged squad from the one which walloped Northamptonshire last time out which means they still have Keaton Jennings around but not Jos Buttler who is with the England team.
Derbyshire are likely to take the same squad to Manchester that they used in their defeat to Nottinghamshire on Friday evening. Luis Reece is continuing to prove to be a big loss to the Falcons.
You have to fear for Derbyshire a little in this match as the scheduler has done them no favours. With the rain that fell on Friday night they didn’t finish their match until around 10pm and by the time they had changed and done media and everything you’re looking at them getting to their beds at midnight and if they could sleep straight away they will need to be up early to get to Manchester to play 16hrs after finishing their previous match. That is tough especially when you factor in Lancashire never played on Friday night.
I expect Lancashire to win this but they are no price so I’ll head to the side markets for a bet on the match. The one in question is the player performances where Liam Livingstone is my focus. He bludgeoned a ton when these two met in Derby earlier in the competition and in the match against Northamptonshire he took two wickets so he is a decent all-round cricketer. He’s in good form too and against jaded opponents I expect another Livingstone show here.
WON – Back L.Livingstone’s Performance – Over 36.5pts for a 4/10 stake at 1.83 with Bet365