Derbyshire Falcons claimed a convincing seven-wicket win against Leicestershire Foxes in front of a good crowd as they powered onto 11 points in the NatWest T20 Blast North Group.
It was an impressive bowling performance from the Falcons led by Matt Henry’s tournament-best figures of 3-18 and Imran Tahir’s 2-20 as Derbyshire restricted the visitors to 104-9 at The 3aaa County Ground.
After the loss of three early wickets, Wayne Madsen and Alex Hughes shared an unbeaten 86 for the fourth wicket as the Falcons ran home winners with 36 balls remaining and claim their fifth victory in the NatWest T20 Blast.
Gary Wilson won the toss and elected to bowl first as his unchanged side looked to continue their unbeaten run at home. This decision paid off early on as Hardus Viljoen (1-20) dismissed Luke Ronchi for five in the second over before Mark Cosgrove (7) was run out three overs later thanks to some good fielding from Matt Critchley.
Leicestershire could only make 29 from their powerplay overs as Derbyshire looked to turn the screw after taking two early wickets.
The Foxes fought back into the game through Delport (21) and Ackerman (24), but both went to catches from Hughes off the bowling of Madsen (1-22) and Cotton (1-23) respectively.
Henry then claimed his first wicket of the day as Billy Godleman caught Mark Pettini (16) to leave Leicestershire at 80-5 with only five over remaining.
The Derbyshire rampage continued as Tahir claimed two wickets in his final over as Aadil Ali (9) was stumped and Mathew Pilians was caught in the deep by Hughes.
Henry matched Tahir’s efforts, dismissing Dieter Klein (3) and Tom Wells (8) in the penultimate over of the Leicestershire innings as the Foxes closed their innings on 104-9.
Critchley was forced to retire hurt in the first over of the Derbyshire response after being struck on the helmet by Klein. He will be assessed as a precaution, but walked from the field and will be monitored going forward.
Godleman (10) hit back-to-back fours off Pillans before edging one behind to the Leicestershire wicketkeeper, Ronchi.
After a short rain delay, Klein quickly picked up two wickets as he dismissed Reece (1) and Wilson (10), bringing Leicestershire back into the game.
Hughes and Madsen came in for Derbyshire and brought the game back under control, taking the Falcons to 70-3 after ten overs.
The pair continued to bat sensibly, hitting the bad balls to the ropes but taking minimal risks, knowing they were ahead of the run rate.
Hughes (36 not out) hit a six straight down the ground at the Racecourse End before the in-form Madsen (49 not out) finished the game off in style with two flicked fours to confirm a seven-wicket victory for the Falcons.
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