Falcons winning streak ended at Trent Bridge
Derbyshire Falcons fell narrowly short of making it five Vitality Blast wins in a row with a nine-run defeat to Notts Outlaws at Trent Bridge.
A spell full of pace and skill from Lockie Ferguson (2-15) helped restrict the Outlaws to 166-5, but a flurry of lower-order wickets hindered the Derbyshire chase and the Falcons ultimately came up short.
Derbyshire sit sixth in the North Group on eight points, with the chance to bounce back with a win tomorrow night at home to Birmingham Bears.
After losing the toss and bowling first, Derbyshire soon had the dangerous Riki Wessels (2), who struck a century in this fixture last season, back in the dugout.
He was bowled by the fierce Ferguson in his first over, before the New Zealand quick struck again in his next, this time bowling Jake Libby (11) with another fine yorker.
Wahab Riaz, who went for just a single in his first over then produced a wicket-maiden in the final over of the powerplay, Steven Mullaney (0) out to leave the hosts 37-3.
Samit Patel looked assured in his 22, striking Alex Hughes for three fours in the ninth over and Tom Moores (48) struck powerfully down the ground in a fourth-wicket partnership worth 51.
The wicketkeeper-batsman fell to Matt Critchley’s first ball and Patel saw his stumps scattered by Hardus Viljoen just five runs later as Derbyshire remained on top with the hosts 93-5.
But an unbroken sixth-wicket stand worth 73 between Dan Christian (39 not out) and Billy Root (unbeaten on 28) helped the Outlaws to a highly competitive 166-5 after being 71-3 at the halfway stage.
The Falcons lost leading run-scorer Calum MacLeod in the first over of the chase, bowled around his legs by Patel for four.
Following on from his 42 at Headingley on Monday, Riaz was at his explosive best and soon had the Falcons ahead of the rate with a four then six off Harry Gurney.
Derbyshire were 57-1 at the end of the powerplay, but lost Billy Godleman in the seventh to leg spinner Ish Sodhi, the first of his four wickets.
Riaz and Wayne Madsen (21) added 34 for the third wicket, but once Riaz was out to Sodhi for a career-best 53 off just 31 balls, Derbyshire lost three wickets for five runs.
Gary Wilson was the second of Sodhi’s two in an over, bowled without scoring and Derbyshire slipped to 98-5 and behind the required run rate.
Viljoen was out with the score 110-6 and despite 14 runs from the 17th over, as Hughes (18) opened his shoulders against Christian, Derbyshire needed 31 from the final three overs.
Critchley was unable to repeat his heroics of Queen’s Park last Saturday and although he made 27, the Falcons closed on 157-8, losing by nine runs.
Vitality Blast is back! Derbyshire Falcons are back at home on Friday 3 August against Birmingham Bears. Purchase your tickets in advance and save from £4. Buy online or call 01332 388 101.