Derbyshire Falcons lost for the first time at home this campaign, but despite an eight-run defeat to Notts Outlaws they remain top of the NatWest T20 Blast North Group on 13 points.
Over 3,000 spectators turned out to support the Falcons at The 3aaa County Ground and they were treat to another high-scoring and tense encounter as Derbyshire fell just nine runs short in their chase of 190 to win.
Buoyed by the five-wicket win over Yorkshire Vikings, Captain Gary Wilson won the toss and elected to bowl first. Notts started well, scoring 20 from their first two overs, but Alex Hales (7) was dismissed after four overs, caught by Luis Reece off Wayne Madsen (1-39).
Rikki Wessels (37) continued to power on as, alongside Tom Moores (53), he helped bring Notts to 52-1 at the end of their powerplay. But when he was bowled by Alex Hughes, Moores took the mantle, passing his half-century in 31 balls, including five fours and three sixes.
Moores built a 72-run partnership with Brendan Taylor, but this was brought to an end by a good catch from Reece off the bowling of Imran Tahir (1-28) to dismiss Moores.
Derbyshire began to recover well after the wicket of Moores, with Tahir and Ben Cotton both bowling excellently to slow the Outlaws’ run rate.
Cotton was rewarded for his tight bowling with a wicket as Wilson caught Taylor for 23, leaving the Outlaws at 131-4 with five overs remaining.
Samit Patel (29 not out) and Dan Christian (unbeaten on 30) began to score quickly in their last few overs, with two sixes off the final two balls setting Derbyshire 190 to win.
The Falcons’ reply didn’t start well, with Billy Godleman (2) caught behind by Moores after just two balls. Luis Reece (53) then recovered quickly, Derbyshire reaching 49 from their powerplay but also losing Tom Wood (24) to a Wessels catch.
Reece crashed three huge sixes towards the City End as he reached an impressive half-century from 26 balls. But he could only add three more runs before Patel caught him off Christian and when Wilson was out with Derbyshire 116-4, the momentum firmly swung towards the visitors.
Madsen reached 31 from 22 but a good catch from Gurney at short third man took the in-form man out of the game. Hughes (26) looked to be keeping Derbyshire in the game, smashing a huge six onto the roof of the 3aaa Pavilion, but once the all-rounder and Daryn Smit were both out, Derbyshire needed 28 off two overs with Henry and Viljoen at the crease.
Viljoen hit a six down the ground before Henry hit Gurney for four, but good death bowling from the Outlaws saw them to an eight-run victory.
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