Wayne Madsen hit a fine 87 on his 300th first-team appearance for the county, but Derbyshire ultimately fell 51 runs short in their chase of 324 against Worcestershire at New Road.
Derbyshire started well with the ball, but powerful lower-order hitting from Ross Whiteley (58) and Ben Cox (56 not out) steered Worcestershire to 323-6 after earlier being 186-5.
The visitors lost wickets at regular intervals, and despite half-centuries from Madsen and Luis Reece (62), the Falcons were all out for 273, 51 runs short of their target.
Worcestershire won the toss and elected to bat, but Derbyshire took the advantage early on. Duanne Olivier struck in the fourth over to remove Daryl Mitchell for six before Ravi Rampaul had the wicket of Joe Clarke three overs later, Luis Reece taking the catch at mid-wicket.
Hardus Viljoen and Olivier each bowled maidens to keep the squeeze on the hosts and a frustrated Travis Head (30) was then out to the first ball after a bowling change, well caught by Daryn Smit standing up to Alex Hughes (2-49).
Worcestershire slipped to 88-3 off 19 overs, but Tom Fell set about rebuilding the innings alongside Brett D’Oliveira and the pair added 62 until Fell was caught behind by Smit off Reece for 56.
D’Oliveira became Hughes’ second wicket, but Cox and Whiteley took the attack to the Derbyshire bowlers in a sixth-wicket partnership worth 101. Their cavalier response powered the hosts past 250 and when Whiteley was caught off Sharif for 58 with 14 deliveries remaining, the score was 287-6.
Ed Barnard took no time to settle and crashed 23 off eight balls to take Worcestershire to 323-6 off 50 overs, the hosts adding 122 in the final 10 overs.
Ben Slater (10) fell early in the Derbyshire response and Billy Godleman (23) couldn’t repeat his heroics from Edgbaston and he was bowled by Head, bringing Madsen to the crease.
Reece was the first Derbyshire batsmen to 50, reaching his half-century off 57 balls with five fours, in a partnership with Madsen worth 77.
Looking well set to challenge the Worcestershire total, Derbyshire stuttered again as Reece (62) and Matt Critchley (12) were out four overs apart as the hosts seized the upper hand.
Madsen continued and reached his half-century in an innings which featured boundaries around the ground. But he was undone by Head and caught reverse-sweeping on 87, a catalyst for the final five wickets to fall in 11 overs.
Hughes showed resistance, however two wickets in an over from Mitchell and one in the next from D’Oliveira saw Derbyshire slip to 237-8, needing 87 more.
Olivier was run out for six and despite taking 17 off a Mitchell over, Hughes fell three runs short of what would have been a deserved half-century and Derbyshire were all out for 273.
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