Matt Critchley crashed 22 off five balls in the final over to power Derbyshire Falcons to a five-wicket victory over local rivals Yorkshire Vikings at a sold out Queen’s Park.
The win is the Falcons’ third in a row in the Vitality Blast and leaves them on six points, with hopes of quarter-final qualification still alive.
Critchley’s unbeaten 38 off 17 proved to be a match-winning knock after Ravi Rampaul had earlier claimed 4-19 to help restrict the visitors to 166-8 from their 20 overs.
Tom Kohler-Cadmore came out with the intent to clear the ropes from ball one and he took 15 off the first over. It took a special catch from Critchley to remove the powerful opener, diving forward in the ring to take a low catch off Rampaul.
The Vikings got off to a fast start, but ended the powerplay on 48-2 as Rampaul claimed his second with Adam Lyth (8) edging behind.
David Willey and Kane Williamson proved to be a good combination for the third wicket, happy to rotate and attack when the ball was in their arc.
Their impressive stand of 72, in blustery conditions at Queen’s Park, got Yorkshire back on track and once it was eventually ended by Wahab Riaz (2-34), Willey kept marching on.
A constant threat, the powerful left-hander kept finding a way to hit boundaries even as the Derbyshire bowlers brought the run rate down. Caught at long-off and out for 55, his wicket was a catalyst for the Derbyshire comeback in the latter stages.
Alex Hughes returned from the Pavilion End and bowled Gary Ballance for 16, before a fierce delivery from Hardus Viljoen clattered Jonathan Tattersall’s (5) stumps at the other end.
Two wickets in the final over from Rampaul crowned a good comeback from the Falcons to restrict the visitors to 166-8 after being 91-2 at the halfway stage.
Billy Godleman got the Falcons off to a flyer, as he had done in the last two Vitality Blast matches. And despite the loss of Calum MacLeod (15) and Wayne Madsen (2), Derbyshire were 46-2 at the end of the powerplay.
Anuj Dal (8) was lbw to Adil Rashid (2-19) in the eighth and with rain around, both sides kept a close eye on the DLS par score each over.
Godleman continued with his measured innings, similar to his unbeaten 57 against Leicestershire last night, and helped to rotate the strike and allow Wilson to attack at the other end.
THE WINNING OVER ??
— Derbyshire CCC (@DerbyshireCCC) July 28, 2018
The opener struck a four off Azeem Rafiq (2-28) and Wilson crashed a six down the ground off Rashid, but these were rare boundaries off the economical spinners.
It was Rafiq who ended the 35-run fourth-wicket stand as Wilson was stumped for 18 to bring Viljoen to the crease. He didn’t hang around, but was bowled trying to slog Rashid and the two spinners completed their spells with combined figures of 4-47 from eight overs.
Godleman made it successive half-centuries in the Vitality Blast off 44 balls, with three fours and one six as Derbyshire remained in the hunt.
Needing 42 to win from three overs, the Derbyshire pair got Plunkett away for 15, but Steven Patterson bowled tightly meaning 19 were needed off the last.
Bresnan returned to bowl it and in a moment of match-winning inspiration, Critchley seized on everything of a length to hit two, six, four, six, four and win the game for Derbyshire with one ball to spare.
Godleman finished with an unbeaten 71 in a measured and career-best innings, part of a 64-run sixth-wicket stand which ultimately was the difference for the Falcons.
Vitality Blast is back! Derbyshire Falcons host seven Twenty20 games this July and August. Purchase your tickets in advance and save from £4. Buy online or call 01332 388 101.