Derbyshire secured their first Vitality Blast win of the season with a four-run victory over Leicestershire Foxes at the Fischer County Ground.
After setting the hosts a target of 148 to win, two wickets from Michael Cohen (2-23), one from Matt Critchley and a club record-breaking 52nd dismissal in Twenty20 cricket for Alex Hughes saw Leicestershire fall short on 143-4 from their 20 overs.
Brilliant bowling at the death from Dustin Melton, who conceded just 11 runs from his final two overs, saw Dominic Cork’s side gain some much-needed momentum ahead of Thursday’s East Midlands Derby with Notts Outlaws.
After a positive start to their innings, which saw Leicestershire score 45 runs from their first five overs, Cohen ended the powerplay by dismissing Arron Lilley (2) and conceding just one off the over.
That gave the Derbyshire bowlers encouragement, which showed when Hughes dismissed Colin Ackermann (15) to become Derbyshire’s all-time leading wicket-taker in Twenty20 cricket.
Having won the toss, Billy Godleman elected to bat first in Leicester, but the Falcons lost Luis Reece (3) early on, while Wayne Madsen (33) also fell before the halfway point in the innings.
Godleman himself fell for 34, while 25 off 14 balls from Hughes helped to move his side into a competitive position, before falling with the last ball of the innings.
Melton was chosen to bowl the 18th and 20th overs on just his second Derbyshire appearance in the format, and he duly delivered by first conceding just six runs from as many balls, before restricting the hosts to five runs in the final over when they needed ten.
Derbyshire now turn their attention to Thursday’s fixture against Notts Outlaws at Trent Bridge, as the Falcons aim to exact revenge on their local rivals after Sunday’s narrow defeat.
Vitality Blast is back! Derbyshire Falcons return to Twenty20. Follow every game live on our match centre at derbyshireccc.com. Derbyshire Falcons: Underestimated No More.