Reece career-best powers Falcons to win
Luis Reece hit a career-best 97 not out as Derbyshire Falcons beat Lancashire Lightning by 35 runs to claim their fourth NatWest T20 Blast win in front of a packed 3aaa County Ground.
NatWest T20 Blast action returned to Derby with the visit of Lancashire the first of three games in a week, and the Falcons got off to the perfect start in front of over 3,500 spectators.
After Lancashire won the toss and put Derbyshire into bat first, Billy Godleman started well, hitting two fours in the first over. But Godleman could only make 18 before he was bowled by Junaid Khan in the third over.
Reece came to the crease and started scoring at a fast pace, crashing a huge six towards the City End in his first over.
Matt Critchley helped the Falcons pass 50 before he was caught and bowled by Khan for ten. Derbyshire finished their powerplay at 71-2, with Reece on 33 not out off just 15 balls.
The in-form Wayne Madsen could only make 15 before he was lbw to Stephen Parry, but the Falcons powered on as Reece brought up the side’s 100 and his half-century.
Gary Wilson (9) and Alex Hughes (9) were out quickly, but Reece remained and continued to score at a quick rate.
Daryn Smit came in and looked in the mood for the Falcons, flashing fours either side of the wicket, hitting six in total as part of his unbeaten 42.
Reece ran out of time to reach a deserved century, but a career-best 97 not out steered the Falcons to 211-5, setting the visitors a challenging 212 to win.
Lancashire started their reply well as Liam Livingstone flew to 44 from just 18 balls before he was caught by Hughes from the bowling of Madsen in the sixth over.
Karl Brown (41) continued to power on before he was bowled by Critchley and with the two openers gone, Derbyshire were back in the contest.
Derbyshire pressed home their advantage with two quick wickets, dismissing England’s Jos Butler (1) and Dane Vilas (3) to leave the Lightning 108-4.
The wickets started tumbling for the visitors as Stephen Croft (7), Aaron Lilley (38), Jordan Clark (6) and Mclaren (7) all went within the space of four overs to put Derbyshire in a commanding position, with Lancashire needing 60 from 23 balls with just two wickets in hand.
Lancashire lost their ninth wicket in the penultimate over before falling 36 runs short in their chase, giving Derbyshire their fourth win which lifts them to second in the NatWest T20 Blast North Group table.
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