Match Preview v Notts Outlaws (H)
Leicestershire Foxes bring their home 2020 Vitality Blast campaign to an end tomorrow with the visit of Vitality Blast North group winners elect, Notts Outlaws, to the Fischer County Ground on Friday, September 18.
The Foxes’ hopes of reaching the quarter-finals of the competition were dashed two nights ago after falling to a dramatic last-ball four-run defeat against Derbyshire Falcons, who left Leicestershire with their first Blast win of the season.
However, qualification is still in the Foxes’ hands as victories against Notts Outlaws and Lancashire Lightning will put them in a strong position to go on and claim their route through to the knock-out stages.
Outlaws sit at the top of the North group having already sealed safe passage through to the last eight.
As the contest is scheduled to be played behind closed doors, Leicestershire have been working in the background to provide an improved viewer experience for the T20 matches.
This means that every ball of each home Leicestershire Foxes 2020 Vitality Blast campaign will be streamed live and will be free to watch for every Running Foxes fan.
For the Foxes’ meeting with Notts Outlaws on Friday a good head-to-head to assess is our slow left-arm spinner Callum Parkinson against Notts' two left-arm spinners, Samit Patel and Imad Wasim.
Callum has been outstanding for the Running Foxes this season in our T20 campaign, taking seven wickets so far at a cost of 19 runs per wicket in conjunction with an excellent 6.65 economy rate.
His numbers illustrate that he has been one of the outstanding bowlers in the entire competition, and he is three wickets away from yet another 10+ wicket T20 Blast season - this would be an excellent achievement in a shortened season.
For our opponents, Outlaws, their slow left-armers have had mixed success.
Pakistan international all-rounder Wasim has shown his class, taking four wickets so far having missed the opening couple of matches while he was featuring for his national team against England.
These four wickets have come at the same cost of 19 runs per wicket as Parkinson, and Wasim has a slightly better 6.33 economy rate.
However, fellow left-arm spinner - and former England international - Patel, has been less impressive in the competition with the ball so far, taking just three wickets at a cost of 47.66, with a higher 8.93 economy rate.
The battle of the left-arm spinners will be critical to the outcome of Friday's match.
Last Time We Met in Vitality Blast
The Foxes and Notts Outlaws met in the Vitality Blast just under two weeks ago at Trent Bridge as the home side ran out comprehensive winners in the tie.
The Foxes won the toss at Trent Bridge and Skipper Colin Ackermann opted to bat first on a pitch that was sluggish, proving difficult to play on for the Foxes’ batsmen.
Leicestershire had struggled to find any momentum during their innings and were restricted to 123 for 8 in their allotted 20 overs. Gareth Delaney top-scored with 25(15b), whilst Jake Ball nabbed 2 for 17 from four overs for Notts.
An explosive start by Alex Hales (44, 16b) saw the opener smash four fours and four sixes in his brief stay as the hosts made short work of a victory target of 124.
The Foxes did remove Joe Clarke (19, 20b) and Tom Moores (1, 3b) in quick succession, but the experience of captain Dan Christian (33no, 26b) and Steven Mullaney (7no, 4b) guaranteed the points for Outlaws.
Head Coach Paul Nixon names the same 14-man squad from the visit of Derbyshire Falcons as Notts Outlaws make the trip to Leicestershire.
Leicestershire from 14: Colin Ackermann (c), Nat Bowley, Will Davis, Harry Dearden, Gareth Delany, Gavin Griffiths, Lewis Hill, Dieter Klein, Arron Lilley, Ben Mike, Callum Parkinson, George Rhodes, Harry Swindells, Nick Welch.