Worcestershire Rapids vs Derbyshire Falcons
Wed 31 Jul Blackfinch New Road
du Plooy 52*
Lost by two wickets
Derbyshire defeated by reigning champions
A second half-century of the Vitality Blast campaign for Leus du Plooy was eclipsed by a powerful 81 not out from Wayne Parnell as Derbyshire slipped to a two-wicket defeat away to Worcestershire Rapids.
The left-hander managed an unbeaten 52 in a 70-run fifth-wicket stand with Darren Stevens (26 not out), but Derbyshire’s 156-4 proved too few against the reigning champions at Blackfinch New Road.
Experienced all-rounder Parnell had a strike rate over 166 in an innings which was the difference between the two sides as the Rapids chased down 159-8 with six balls remaining.
After losing the toss and being put into bat, Derbyshire were on the back foot in the first over, losing Godleman to Dillon Pennington without scoring.
Luis Reece (29) took up the mantle as the aggressor and clubbed a six over wide long-on, as well as a nice drive on the off side, before he was out to Pat Brown with the last ball of the powerplay, leaving du Plooy to join Wayne Madsen.
The pair added 27 for the third wicket, until Madsen fell to leg spinner, Brett D’Oliveira, caught driving on the up for 28 off 25 balls.
The Worcestershire captain also removed Matt Critchley (9), bringing Stevens to the crease with 86 on the board and little over seven overs remaining.
Renowned as a powerful striker, Stevens made two fours and one six, while du Plooy reached his second half-century of this summer’s Twenty20 competition from 46 balls with five fours as Derbyshire posted 156-4 from their 20 overs.
Their defence got off to a good start, with Fynn Hudson-Prentice picking up two wickets in his first over to remove the dangerous opening duo of Martin Guptill (15) and Riki Wessels (4) both caught.
Experienced Australia batsman Callum Ferguson (6) soon followed, caught by du Plooy off Reece, and with the Rapids 35-3, Derbyshire were well in the game.
But a boundary-filled innings from Parnell, who came in at four and immediately set about upping the run-rate, took the game away from Godleman’s side in the middle overs.
Striking at a higher rate than any other batsman, he hit two fours and seven sixes to push the Rapids in front by the end of the fifteenth over.
Wicketkeeper-batsman, Ben Cox, was out for a near run-a-ball 20, but undeterred by his dismissal, Parnell struck a four then a six in the same over to bring up his half-century.
Derbyshire took a flurry of late wickets after Ross Whiteley’s (20) cameo was ended, first Ed Barnard run out to smart fielding at point from Madsen, before Rampaul (2-17) closed out his economical spell with two wickets.
Despite the fightback, with Parnell at the crease the Rapids closed in on victory and it was the left-hander who hit the winning runs, a six over long-off with one over remaining.
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