Wayne Madsen and Chesney Hughes shared a 97-run fourth-wicket stand as Derbyshire chased down 185 to beat Worcestershire Rapids in NatWest T20 Blast at New Road.
Madsen top-scored with an unbeaten 59, including four sixes, and Chesney Hughes struck 43 not out, which featured two sixes, as the pair saw the Falcons from 91-3 to their victory target with seven balls to spare.
This after Alex Hughes (3-23) had returned career-best NatWest T20 Blast figures, before a late onslaught from Ben Cox (59 not out) and Matt Henry (35 not out) helped the Rapids post 185-7 off their 20 overs.
But it wasn’t enough as scores from Wes Durston (32), Hamish Rutherford (37), Chesney Hughes and Madsen saw the Falcons to their third win in the competition and move onto seven points.
The Falcons, after winning the toss and bowling first, claimed early wickets to reduce the hosts to 50-4 after the six-over powerplay. Jimmy Neesham (2-47) and Andy Carter (2-46) both claimed two early poles.
Former Falcon Ross Whiteley came in at six and was striking the ball nicely down the ground until he was caught by Madsen at long-off for 18 off Alex Hughes. A second wicket for Alex Hughes followed in his next over as Brett D’Oliveira attempted a ramp and was caught by Carter at short fine-leg for 17. The Rapids were 80-6 at the halfway stage.
But a late onslaught led by Cox and Henry meant that Worcestershire managed to boost their score to 185-7 at the innings close, with the former finishing on a career-best 63 not and Henry hitting 35 not out. The other Rapids wicket to fall was Joe Leach bowled by Alex Hughes, who had best figures of 3-23.
Returning skipper Durston ensured Derbyshire got their innings off to a fast start, scoring 37 off 19 balls (five fours, one six) but was clean bowled by Henry in the fifth over.
Rutherford continued the quick scoring, the Falcons completing the powerplay on 61-1, but the Kiwi fell for 37 from 25 balls before his compatriot Neil Broom was out for six. Derbyshire were 92-3 at the midway point of the chase.
The rest of the innings belonged to Chesney Hughes and Madsen who dominated the hosts’ bowling to take their side to victory.
They maneuvered the ball well during the middle overs to take Derbyshire to 130-3 after 15 overs when rain arrived and forced the players off, with the Falcons two runs ahead of the Duckworth/Lewis par score for the over.
No overs were lost, however, and, upon the resumption, the pair took over with Derbyshire needing 56 to win from five overs.
Madsen was batting superbly, consistently striking boundaries and rotating the strike well. He reached a brilliant half-century from 31 balls with his fourth four, before ending unbeaten on 59.
Chesney Hughes also played a leading role and finished proceedings in the penultimate over with a four to end unbeaten on 43 and seal an impressive seven-wicket win.
The 97-run partnership between Madsen and Chesney Hughes was the highest for Derbyshire in Twenty20 cricket for the fourth wicket against Worcestershire.
The Falcons now travel to Queen’s Park on Sunday for the start of the Custom Solar Chesterfield Festival of Cricket with the visit of Northants Steelbacks in the NatWest T20 Blast; 2.30pm start. Tickets are available.
Supporters can save 20% by purchasing their NatWest T20 Blast matchday tickets in advance of the day of the game. Buy online, over the phone by calling 01332 388 101 or in person at The 3aaa County Ground.