Falcons bow out of NatWest T20 Blast

Tuesday 22nd August 2017
Written by Danny Painter

After a record-breaking campaign, Derbyshire Falcons bowed out of the NatWest T20 Blast with a 101-run quarter-final defeat to Hampshire at The 3aaa County Ground.

It was only the second knockout match for Derbyshire in the format, at the end of a campaign which saw a number of Club records broken including the most wins and highest points tally. But 101 from Shahid Afridi and 3-25 from Kyle Abbott took the game away from Derbyshire, the hosts losing by 101 runs.

Returning to lead the Falcons, Gary Wilson won the toss and decided to bat, but Hampshire took control early on, with Shahid Afridi (101) taking 16 from the first over.

The Falcons eventually found the breakthrough in the fifth over as Calvin Dickinson (18) was caught dramatically by a diving Matt Henry, but Afridi powered on alongside the incoming James Vince to end the powerplay at 71-1.

He was dropped on 65 and went on to pass his 100 before he was caught by Ben Cotton off the bowling of Henry, hitting ten fours and seven sixes during his innings.

George Bailey replaced Afridi and also scored quickly as he made 27 from 11 before he was caught by Alex Hughes with the score 198-3. Vince added a well-made 55 before he was the first of three wickets in an over for Matt Critchley. The leg spinner then removed Liam Dawson (10) and Gareth Berg (0) with the final two balls of the 18th over before Henry ran out Michael Carberry in the next over.

Kyle Abbott as run out in the final over for no score before Tom Alsop (6) and Chris Wood (0) saw out the innings to finish on 249-8, setting Derbyshire a record chase.

Under scoreboard pressure, the Derbyshire response started poorly as they lost Billy Godleman (4) and Matt Critchley (1) within the first two overs. Luis Reece (16) responded well and smashed a huge six in the third over, but he was gone by the end of the over as he was caught behind by Dickinson.

The Falcons’ leading run-scorer Madsen could only add four before he was caught down the leg side by Afridi off Abbott, Derbyshire finishing the powerplay at 42-4 and staring down the barrel of a heavy defeat.

Viljoen was going well for Derbyshire, having hit two excellent fours, but he could only match Reece’s total of 16 before he was caught by Wood. Gary Wilson (10) and Matt Henry (1) were soon out as wickets continued to fall at regular intervals, before Daryn Smit was bowled for 17 after hitting two fours.

Hughes added a well-made 23, including a six over mid-wicket, but once was caught by Wood that brought the final pair to the crease with the score 102-9 in the 15th over. Tahir and Cotton made put on a defiant stand of 46 but once Tahir was out for 23, the game had been long won and the visitors confirmed a 101-run victory.

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