Falcons beaten in East Midlands Derby

Friday 9th June 2023
Photography by: David Griffin, written by ECB Reporters Network

Notts Outlaws kept their nerve to keep up their winning run over the Derbyshire Falcons with a three wicket victory in a tight Vitality Blast game at Derby.

The Falcons made their rivals fight all the way defending a modest 142 for six but Shaheen Afridi smashed two sixes as the Outlaws got home with eight balls to spare.

Haider Ali made 42 off 37 balls but the Outlaws bowled well with Jake Ball taking 2-23 and Afridi 2 for 37 while skipper Steven Mullaney conceded only 15 from four overs.

George Scrimshaw bowled superbly to take 3 for 16 as the Outlaws slipped to 103 for 5 but they held their nerve to stay top of the North Group and leave the Falcons without a T20 victory over them since 2015.

In front of a sell-out crowd of just under 5,000, the Outlaws began with three tight overs after electing to bowl first before Haider Ali broke free against Matt Carter, driving him over long off for six and edging a cut to the third man boundary.

Ball’s first over pegged the Falcons back as he struck twice, Luis Reece driving to mid off and Leus Du Plooy skying his second ball to cover to end the powerplay on 46 for 2.

A sluggish, green-tinged pitch was making it hard for the Falcons to get the ball away and they reached the midpoint of their innings on 67 for 2.

Ali became a victim of the pressure when he pulled Mullaney to deep midwicket in the 12th over and Samit Patel claimed the big wicket of Wayne Madsen three overs later.

Madsen tried to drive Patel over the top but mistimed the shot and was caught by Afridi coming in from long on.

Brooke Guest lifted Afridi over deep square for six but Tom Wood’s attempt to pull the Pakistan fast bowler over the ropes ended in the hands of long on.

The Falcons needed a big finish and Mattie McKiernan did his best to deliver, driving Afridi past mid off for four before pulling the next two balls for six as 17 came off the 19th over, the most expensive of the innings.

Guest chipped the last ball to mid off and Ball bowled an excellent last over which cost only four to leave the Outlaws needing 143 to win.

Clarke pulled Mark Watt for six as 13 came off the first over and then lifted Zak Chappell onto the pavilion balcony in the third.

He twice drove Zaman Khan to the cover boundary but then miscued a pull at Scrimshaw into the hands of mid on.

The Outlaws chase began to falter when Chappell found some late movement to have Colin Munro caught behind for one to leave the Outlaws on 47 -2 at the end of the powerplay.

Scrimshaw lifted the home supporters again in the next over when Matt Montgomery skied a pull to mid off but Alex Hales and Patel got the innings back on track.

Patel drove Watt for six and Hales swept Matt McKiernan over the ropes only for the game to take another twist.

Hales had taken few risks until he backed away to drive Watt and was bowled for 35 off 30 balls and Patel then flicked Scrimshaw to fine leg to leave the Outlaws needing 40 off five overs.

Mullaney eased the pressure by pulling McKiernan for six but was then bowled going for another big shot at Khan.

But Afridi dispatched Watt and Khan for two sixes and although he fell with two needed, a Khan no ball sealed the Outlaws victory.

Derbyshire Falcons fast bowler George Scrimshaw said: “I was very happy with how I bowled. Mads (Wayne Madsen) said to me that it was a bit two paced so make sure you’re hitting the pitch hard.

“We’ve come off the back of two victories against Birmingham (Bears) and they’ve got a stacked top six like Notts but if you get into them you can get on top of them so I thought we had a chance and then they got away from us at the end but we gave it a good go.

“We were maybe 15 or 20 runs light, we got tied down in the middle.I think we took it deep enough but maybe we could have got a few more runs on the board to make it more competitive.

“We all hate losing so many times to Notts and I thought this was going to be the day, I really did, but the fact we posted not enough runs meant we had to bowl exceptionally well and at times we did but hopefully next year it will happen.”

Vitality Blast 2023: Be Bold, Be Derbyshire

In 2023, every Derbyshire Falcons home T20 will be played on a Friday night, weekend or Bank Holiday, meaning it’s never been easier to follow the Falcons in the Vitality Blast.

2022 saw a Club-record number of T20 wins, coupled with the Best Domestic Spectator Experience to make the Falcons Vitality Blast campaign one of the best ever, and this year’s promises to be even bigger, with an enhanced food and drink range and added emphasis on accessibility.

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