Openers inspire Derbyshire to top of table
A record opening stand of 182 between Billy Godleman and Ben Slater set Derbyshire on their way to a 51-run victory over Northants Steelbacks, lifting them to top of the Royal London One-Day Cup North Group.
The pair, who have a combined run tally of 765 in the competition so far, set a platform for Derbyshire to post 265-2 in their 50 overs, a score which proved too much for the Steelbacks at Wantage Road.
Each of the six Derbyshire bowlers took wickets in the Northants reply and with breakthroughs at regular intervals, the Falcons dismissed the hosts for 214 in the 46th over to take the two points.
The win leaves Derbyshire top of the Royal London One-Day Cup North Group table on eight points with two games to play.
Godleman won the toss for Derbyshire and decided he would bat first with fellow opener Slater on what appeared early on to be a slow, turning pitch at Wantage Road.
Watchful in the opening overs, the pair passed 50 in the 13th as they began to set a platform for a highly competitive total.
The century stand, the second for the pair in the group stages, came up as Slater reached his half-century off 78 balls, with five fours. Three overs later he was joined in the feat by his captain as Derbyshire past the halfway mark.
Slater began to press on and hit Graeme White for six and Rob Keogh for four in quick succession, before he was bowled by the latter, bringing his fine innings to an end on 94. It also ended an opening stand of 182 – a record for Derbyshire against Northamptonshire in List A cricket.
Wayne Madsen (8) was caught in the deep in the 42nd over, but Godleman and Gary Wilson pressed on past 200.
The Falcons Captain brought up his second century of the campaign off 127 balls, with nine fours before kicking on with five overs to play.
Alongside Wilson (28 not out) the left-hander hit 25 more in the final overs to close on an unbeaten 125 as Derbyshire posted 265-2.
Derbyshire’s defence started well, with two maidens and two wickets in the opening eight overs, as Madsen and Ravi Rampaul removed openers Rob Newton (2) and Josh Cobb (6).
Ben Duckett (57) led the fightback for the hosts and the left-hander quickly became the focal point of the chase, striking boundaries off Madsen and Matt Critchley to keep the required rate around six runs an over.
But Alex Wakely (19) was out lbw to Critchley attempting a reverse-sweep and Duckett was forced to rebuild again, this time with Rossington. The pair added 53 and looked set to mount a challenge, however Duckett was out for 57 and the Steelbacks chase faltered.
Rossington was bowled by Duanne Olivier and the following over Hamidullah Qadri had his first breakthrough in List A cricket, meaning each of the six Derbyshire bowlers had claimed a wicket.
With the rate creeping above nine runs an over, Rory Kleinveldt offered lower-order resistance, hitting two fours and two sixes in his 37, but regular wickets, including that of the powerful Kleinveldt, halted the chase.
Ben Sanderson was the last man out, bowled by Rampaul as he joined Olivier in taking three wickets, the hosts all out for 214 to give Derbyshire a 51-run win.
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Derbyshire vs Lancashire Lightning – Sunday 3 June