Falcons lose away to Rapids

Hardus Viljoen claimed figures of 3-25, but Derbyshire Falcons lost to Worcestershire Rapids by 16 runs at Blackfinch New Road.

Gary Wilson’s side remain on 10 points in the Vitality Blast North Group and now know they must win their final two games and rely on other results going their way to secure a quarter-final place.

The Derbyshire quicks made a good start, each bowling at least one over in the powerplay, and restricting the hosts to 41-1 after the first six.

It was Ravi Rampaul who got the breakthrough as Wayne Parnell (12) top-edged and was easily caught by Wilson.

Joe Clarke’s fluent innings took him to a half-century off 36 balls, with two fours and as many sixes, as wickets continued to fall around him.

He was unable to build a partnership worth more than 40 and two wickets fell in the tenth over off Hardus Viljoen. First Callum Ferguson (9) was lbw, before Brett D’Oliveira (0) was run out as the Falcons looked to press home an advantage.

Clarke remained the constant, but the Falcons stayed economical on a small outfield and regular wickets helped to build pressure.

When the opener was out to Viljoen for a well-made 76, the lower order collapsed and the fierce quick finished his spell with 3-25 from four overs.

The momentum stayed with Derbyshire and after 20 overs, only the openers had managed to reach double figures in an all-round bowling display which saw the Rapids post 137-8.

The Falcons’ chase got off to a poor start and the Rapids total soon proved to be competitive on a slow pitch, as Ben Slater was lbw to Luke Wood off the third ball of the first over.

Wahab Riaz was unable to replicate his powerful hitting which saw him come into the game with a strike rate of 146, and he fell for six with Calum MacLeod (1) soon following as the required rate climbed above eight runs per over.

Sharp in the field and buoyed by a good start, the Rapids soon had a fourth as George Rhodes caught well at backward-point as Wayne Madsen (2) tried to cut Ed Barnard, leaving Derbyshire 28-4 in the seventh.

Godleman and Wilson began to rebuild and the Falcons were 47-4 at the halfway stage, requiring 91 to win from the final ten.

Their fifth-wicket stand was worth 53 in the 14th over, but Godleman was out for 38 in the next and the momentum remained firmly with the Rapids.

Wilson was out for 35, bowled by Pat Brown, and with his wicket Derbyshire’s hopes faded as the Rapids seamers continued to bowl tightly and with skill.

The Falcons required 54 off the final five overs, and despite fours to Alex Hughes (12 not out) and Matt Critchley (13), Derbyshire fell 17 runs short in their chase of 138.

Derbyshire return to Vitality Blast action at home to Leicestershire Foxes on Saturday 11 August; 7pm start.

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Vitality Blast is back! Derbyshire Falcons are back at home on Saturday 11 August against Leicestershire Foxes. Purchase your tickets in advance and save from £4. Buy online or call 01332 388 101.

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