Preview: Confident Derbyshire looks strong against Essex in semi-final bout
The culmination of the Vitality T20 Blast 2019 in England promises to be an exciting one. The 2nd Semi-Final of the tournament is now set up nicely between the Derbyshire Falcons and Essex Eagles at Edgbaston.
While Derbyshire finished 3rd on the points table from the North Group with 7 wins and 5 losses, Essex ended the league stage for the South Group in the 4th position with 5 wins and 4 losses.
Essex secured a comfortable 6-wicket win against Lancashire in the 1st Quarter-Final and look like a solid team. Meanwhile, Derbyshire thumped Gloucestershire by 7 wickets in the 4th Quarter-Final. This is a special moment for Derbyshire as they are making their place into the Finals Day for the first time since the competition was inaugurated back in 2003.
The semi-final will see the two teams clashing for the first time in this season which makes for a rather fascinating contest.
Essex has a very good unit on paper. Their batting has been sturdy with consistent performances in the season by openers Cameron Delport (353 runs) and Tom Westley (288 runs), along with Dan Lawrence (360 runs) and Ryan ten Doeschate (267 runs). With these few around, along with the likes of Ravi Bopara, Essex has plenty of batting firepower to take on the Derbyshire bowlers in the semi-final.Embed from Getty Images
Their bowling has been decent. However, with Mohammad Amir having left, they will miss an express pace bowling option. The bulk of the work would have to be done by Aaron Beard and James Porter along with captain Simon Harmer whose off-spin will be crucial. Ravi Bopara and Adam Zampa provide added variety to their bowling unit.
Derbyshire, meanwhile, will be the more confident of the two sides. They have displayed a terrific brand of cricket and ate clicking superbly as a unit. Derbyshire has had some real solid stars in their batting unit, with Wayne Madsen (447 runs) and captain Billy Godleman (444 runs) being the star performers. Leus du Plooy (303 runs) and opener Luis Reece (306 runs) have been the other batting heroes for the team. Derbyshire should hence be confident of making a good impact with the bat in the semis.Embed from Getty Images
Their bowling too has been very good with fast bowler Ravi Rampaul (22 wickets) leading the way along with leg-spinner Matthew Critchley (17 wickets). Critchley’s 2-21 in the quarter-final was the game-changing spell and he could be crucial in the semi-final game too. Another bowler to watch out for would be seamer Fynn Hudson-Prentice who is in good form.
Match prediction – Derbyshire vs Essex, 2nd Semi-Final, T20 Blast 2019:
The pitch at Edgbaston is expected to assist batsmen with the last match here between Warwickshire and Yorkshire seeing a combined total of 481 runs being scored.
Hence, we can expect another good batting surface in the 2nd Semi-Final between Derbyshire and Essex. The team batting first should get a total in the range in 170-180. Anything more might be a match-winning one as the pitch would slow down and the spinners would come into play. We can expect a match total of 340-350 runs in the game.
Essex Eagles are certainly a good team and can win on their day. Derbyshire, however, is peaking at the right time, has got all bases covered and is a robust all-round team. The Derbyshire Falcons hence should emerge as the winners of the 2nd semi-final of the Vitality T20 Blast 2019 and progress to their first ever finals in the competition.