Tahir set to blast Falcons to Edgbaston
Derbyshire can break Finals duck
T20 Blast quarter-final
Sky Sports Cricket, 6.30pm Tuesday
Of the eight counties who will contest the 2017 T20 Blast quarter-finals, Derbyshire are the only side to have never made a Finals Day appearance.
That could all change, however, with the Falcons lively 11-10 underdogs to pip Hampshire to a place at Edgbaston on home soil.
Having made a steady start to their Blast campaign, Derbyshire finished with a wet sail winning five of their last seven completed starts.
Central to their success has been overseas trio Imran Tahir, Hardus Viljoen and Kiwi quick bowler Matt Henry.
With 45 wickets between them, the three are responsible for 62 per cent of the wickets Derbyshire have taken in this year’s competition.
Their contributions are sure to be pivotal once again if the Falcons are to break their Finals Day duck.
Tahir has undoubtedly been the leader of the Derbyshire attack in this format.
The South African leg-spinner sits third on the ICC’s ranking of T20 bowlers and his performances over the summer have shown why.
Tahir took 17 wickets at an average of 22 in 13 group games, with a strike rate of just 18.3, to go with the 12 he has taken in six international 20-over outings in 2017.
The pitches at the County Ground are usually conducive to spin and the hosts will hope he and Wayne Madsen, who has taken 13 wickets with his off-spin, can turn them to victory.
Madsen has also had a wonderful tournament with the bat, scoring 522 runs at an average of 52.2 – hitting four fifties in the process.
A turning wicket will not worry the visitors who will hope rising star Mason Crane and jettisoned England spinner Liam Dawson can have a big say on proceedings.
However, the way they subsided to 91 all out against Somerset last week must be a concern for those willing to back Hampshire at odds-on in a game of similar pressure.
Derbyshire came into the quarter-finals as the form side in the competition and can break new ground by qualifying for Finals Day.
1pt 11-10 general
I Tahir top Derbyshire wicket-taker
1pt 5-2 general