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Falcons fall short in festival opener

Sunday 5th July 2015
Written by Danny Painter

Wes Durston struck 60 from 39 balls but Derbyshire Falcons were defeated by Northamptonshire Steelbacks by three runs in a thrilling encounter in the NatWest T20 Blast at Queen’s Park, Chesterfield.

Alex Hughes (2-23) and Wayne White (2-25) were amongst the wickets for the Falcons as Northants were restricted to 155-6 before two overs were lost due to the rain and Derbyshire were set a revised 144 to win from 18 overs.

Durston set the platform for the hosts but the runs soon dried up and they were unable to score the nine necessary runs off the last over as they fell three runs short in the opening game of the Autoworld Volvo XC90 Chesterfield Festival of Cricket, in association with Chesterfield Borough Council.

Josh Cobb and Richard Levi started brightly for Northants after they were put into bat and they produced an opening partnership of 85, before the latter was trapped lbw by Shiv Thakor off the last ball of the tenth over.

Durston removed Cobb via the same method of dismissal for 48, with Alex Hughes having Captain Alex Wakely caught at long on by Wayne Madsen for four the following over to leave Northants 96-3.

Hughes then got his second as Ben Duckett skied a catch to Tom Knight when on six, with Wayne White popping up with a double wicket-maiden the following over as Adam Rossington and Rory Kleinveldt both went without scoring.

After being reduced to 110-6 with four overs to go, Northamptonshire rallied as they closed on a competitive 155-6 with some late hitting from Steven Crook (28 not out) and Rob Keogh (27 not out).

Following a torrential downpour, two overs were lost and Derbyshire were set a revised target of 144 runs to win from 18 overs via the Duckworth/Lewis method.

Their pursuit began brightly as Durston and Hamish Rutherford continued to find the boundary early on, with Durston moving the Falcons on to 50-0 with a maximum off Cobb in the sixth over.

Rutherford was out soon after for 20 however, as Cobb took a good catch at long on off the left-arm spin of Graeme White, with Cobb then removing Chesney Hughes the following over as the batsman was caught at short cover off his first ball.

Durston continued his fine form in this year’s NatWest T20 Blast as he brought up his half century from 32 balls, with Derbyshire needing 62 from the final eight overs.

White caught Madsen off his own bowling for 11, with the danger-man Durston caught on the square leg boundary off Crook two overs later to leave the game in the balance with the score on 103-4.

Scott Elstone and Tom Poynton shared a partnership of 37 for the fifth wicket but the boundaries dried up in the latter stages of the innings and Derbyshire were left chasing 24 from the final three overs.

Azharullah was deadly accurate in the final over as Derbyshire could only muster six of the nine required runs off the last over, with Elstone bowled off the final ball to hand Northants a three-run victory.

Click here to view the Scorecard>>

Derbyshire are back in action at Queen’s Park tomorrow, as they host Glamorgan for the start of a four-day fixture in the LV= County Championship.

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