Derbyshire Falcons captains Godleman aim to 'ruffle some feathers' in T20 Finals Day

Billy Godleman in action for Derbyshire Falcons.
Billy Godleman in action for Derbyshire Falcons.

Captain Billy Godleman believes the shift in focus from white-ball to red-ball cricket may help Derbyshire as they prepare for one of the biggest days in the county’s history.

On Saturday afternoon in front of more than 25,000 at Edgbaston, Godleman and his Derbyshire Falcons will take on Essex in the second semi-final of the Vitality Blast T20 aiming, in his words, to "ruffle some feathers".

The Falcons have already done that over the course of the past six weeks, finishing joint second in the North Group and comprehensively beating Gloucestershire at Bristol to reach Finals Day for the first time.

The nature of the domestic schedule means there has been little time to dwell on that achievement nearly two weeks ago which the Falcons skipper reckons could be a good thing.

After Derbyshire wrapped up a three-day Specsavers County Championship victory over Sussex on Wednesday, Godleman said: “I haven’t had that much time to think about it.

“There have been two back-to-back championship matches with quite a bit of travel in between which I personally think is a good thing.

“We’ll get back into the white-ball format on Friday and have a strong training session and then go and take on Essex on Saturday afternoon.

“It will be a special occasion and a special achievement for the club and everyone connected with it. It’s our first Finals Day, it’s the flagship day on the domestic cricket calendar and for Derbyshire, we intend to ruffle some big counties' feathers.”

If momentum counts for anything in sport, Derbyshire certainly have it after winning four consecutive Blast games for the right to take on Essex and a potential final with Notts Outlaws or Worcestershire.

Derbyshire have already played the Outlaws and the Rapids in the group stages but Godleman is not fazed by the prospect of taking on South Group qualifiers Essex, one of his former counties.

“I personally wasn’t bothered, when I don’t have any control over things I try and not waste too much energy on them so for me, we are just relishing the chance to play anyone in the semi-final," he said.

“We have got nothing to lose, no one expected us to get the quarter-finals let alone Finals Day but we know what we are capable of.

“We knew we had to play consistently within 90 to 100 per cent each game to qualify which we did. We needed to play around 95 per cent minimum to beat Gloucestershire in the quarter-finals which we did so the same applies to Finals Day.

“If we can play somewhere in and around that in two games of T20 cricket, anyone can turn anyone over.”

Godleman, one of the Falcons top performers in the T20 campaign, limbered up for Saturday by scoring a century against Sussex to pass 2000 runs in all formats this season, the first to accomplish the feat for Derbyshire since 2009.

Luis Reece is another who goes to Edgbaston on the back of a memorable performance after he followed a five-wicket haul with a career-best 184 from 189 balls to become the first Derbyshire player to score 150 and take five wickets in an innings since Garnet Lee in 1926.

And all this on the day that he, Ravi Rampaul and Matt Critchley were awarded their county caps. Is there another celebration to come on Saturday?