Gloucestershire and Derbyshire will take each other on in the final quarterfinal of the Vitality Blast on Saturday, September 7, in Bristol.
Gloucestershire finished second on the South Group, after a campaign that had a poor start but a fine revival. They lost just three of their 14 matches, and as with every other team in the tournament, would probably have had more than the 18 points they managed had three of their matches not been washed out.
They started their campaign with a win against Middlesex – their opener against Glamorgan was washed out – and there was then a tie against the same opposition, before consecutive losses against Essex and Sussex. However, they then bounced back, winning four of their last five completed matches to surge towards the upper echelons of the table.
They only finished one point behind the table toppers Sussex, and given the momentum they’ve gained, it’s hard to bet against them going onwards and upwards in the tournament.
Star players: Michael Klinger (356 runs, SR 123, 1 century), David Payne (16 wickets, economy 7.29), Miles Hammond (291 runs, SR 142.64, 2 fifties)
League record: Won 7, lost 3, no result 3, tied 1, NRR 0.242, rank 2
Derbyshire started the campaign less than ideally. They had a victory in their opener against Yorkshire but then went without a victory in four of their first five matches. Since they broke that run against table-proppers Northamptonshire, though, they have been in better health.
They won three of their next four matches, and didn’t let defeats to Durham and Leicestershire faze them. More victories against Northamptonshire, Leicestershire and, most crucially, top-of-the-table Lancashire saw them cement third spot in the North Group and book their place in the quarterfinals.
As impressive as that burst was, Derbyshire will be concerned with how they suffered losses in five of their 14 matches. With only two of their matches washed out, they had a better chance of claiming points compared to the sides that finished above them – both Lancashire and Nottinghamshire had four matches washed out – but their higher number of losses hurt them. Gloucestershire will have taken note.
Star players: Billy Godleman (419 runs, SR 114.16, 4 fifties), Wayne Madsen (400 runs, SR 149.81, 4 fifties), Ravi Rampaul (21 wickets, joint-highest in the tournament, economy 6.71)
League record: Won 7, lost 5, no result 2, NRR 0.022, rank 3