Falcons win to reach T20 Blast quarter-finals
Imran Tahir inspired Derbyshire Falcons to a 48-run victory over Worcestershire Rapids to set up a first NatWest T20 Blast quarter-final in 12 years.
Tahir starred with the ball, returning figures of 4-17 as Derbyshire bowled out the Rapids for 98, claiming a 48-run win after Wayne Madsen earlier top-scored with 55.
The win secured second place in the North Group and a home quarter-final against Hampshire who will travel to The 3aaa County Ground on Tuesday 22 August; 6.30pm start. Ticket are on sale now.
Worcestershire Rapids won the toss and elected to bowl, a decision that payed off early on as Billy Godleman (3) went in the third over before Luis Reece (2) fell in the next. Matt Critchley accelerated, scoring 11 runs off the fifth over before he was caught by Mitchell Santer for 23, leaving Derbyshire at 43-3 at the end of the powerplay.
Callum Brodrick (12) and Alex Hughes (6) both played short cameos alongside Madsen who looked to be in fine rhythm, hitting four fours as Derbyshire passed 100.
Daryn Smit built a partnership with Madsen worth 29, hitting a reverse-sweep for four, but he could only add 19 before he was stumped.
Madsen brought up his half-century after he crashed a six towards the City End, it came off 35 balls, hitting four fours on his way. He was eventually run out for 55 with one ball remaining. Matt Henry was also run out, off the final ball with Derbyshire closing on 146-8.
Derbyshire took no time in taking control of the second innings as Madsen (1-20) bowled leach with the second ball of the chase, the first of ten wickets to fall at regular intervals. Dangerman Joe Clarke began well for the Rapids, reaching 23 from 11 balls before he gave a simple catch to Brodrick.
The wickets continued to tumble and Derbyshire edged in front as Hardus Viljoen (2-20) struck twice in his second over, removing Brett D’Oliveira (6) and Ben Cox to reduce Worcestershire to 39-4.
Tahir then started his golden spell with a wicket first ball, Santner playing onto his stumps for eight. Ross Whiteley was starting to pull Worcestershire back into the game, but Tahir struck again, swinging the game firmly in Derbyshire’s favour as Whiteley (29) was caught on the ropes.
The leg-spinner’s inspired bowling continued and soon Ed Barnard (7) and Patrick Brown (0) were dismissed in his final. Derbyshire claimed the victory when Henry took a fine diving catch to remove George Rhodes, Cotton picking up his first wicket and Derbyshire confirming a 48-run victory.
Derbyshire Falcons face Hampshire in NatWest T20 Blast quarter-finals on Tuesday 22 August (6.30pm) at The 3aaa County Ground. Buy your tickets in advance & save.