Derbyshire are hoping the international pedigree of two of the world’s top batsmen will kick-start their NatWest T20 Blast campaign tomorrow night (Friday).
The Falcons have lost the opening two North Group games and are second from bottom going into their first home match against Lancashire who have already beaten them twice in the county championship.
But the arrival of Sri Lankan master-blaster Tillakaratne Dilshan to team up with South African Test batsman Hashim Amla has given Derbyshire a boost ahead of the game at the 3aaa County Ground.
Between them, the pair have scored more than 10,000 runs in limited overs cricket with Dilshan plundering 3957 runs in 176 Twenty20 matches, 62 of them for Sri Lanka.
The 38-year-old starts the first of two shifts for the county this summer a little earlier than planned because Australian pace bowler Nathan Rimmington misses his third game with a finger injury.
Elite Performance Director Graeme Welch said: “With the injury to Nathan, we’ve been able to shuffle our overseas options and we’re delighted to welcome Dilshan earlier than planned.
“This would be the only opportunity to see Dilshan and Hashim bat together in the same team so there is the promise of some explosive batting on Friday.”
Chesney Hughes provided some batting fireworks with 59 from 44 balls in the previous game at Leicester but recognises the need for Derbyshire to deliver a consistent performance.
“We are playing good cricket in spells and if we can put a complete game together, we can perform well in this competition,” said the 24-year-old Anguillan left-hander.
“We’re always there or thereabouts but a couple of overs here or there cost us in the last two games.
“It’s little things and unfortunately, we haven’t nailed those key moments in games but every man in the changing room is confident we are going to do that and confident we are going to turn it around quickly.
“We’ve just got to get over the line and hopefully we can do that on Friday. It’s still early in the competition and we hope this can kick-start our campaign.
“Friday nights at the 3aaa County Ground are special. The atmosphere is great and we want to put on a good show for our supporters.”
Apart from Rimmington, Derbyshire will again be without key batsman and club captain Wayne Madsen who is recovering from a broken right index finger.