Ackermann ton in vain for Foxes

RESULT | Leicestershire Foxes 312 for eight lost to Derbyshire Falcons 266 for three (DLS method)

SCORECARD | Available from Cricinfo HERE

POINTS | Leicestershire Foxes 0 points, Derbyshire Falcons 2 points

REACTION | Leicestershire CCC Head Coach Paul Nixon spoke to Foxes TV after the game. The interview is available HERE

REPORT | Colin Ackermann put in another strong all-round performance but Leicestershire Foxes suffered last ball agony on the Duckworth/Lewis/Stern (DLS) method against Derbyshire Falcons.

The in-form Ackermann made it back-to-back centuries in the Royal London One-Day Cup competition, and again bowled well (8-0-42-1), but it was not enough to guide his side to the two points.

Chasing a revised target of 269 in 39 overs, Derbyshire Falcons skipper Billy Godleman (106, 115b) and Leus du Plooy (73* (52b) shared 125 for the third wicket as the target came down to eight off the last over.

And although only two runs came from the first four balls, including the key wicket of Godleman, du Plooy hit a four and two off the last two deliveries to seal a dramatic seven-wicket success.

The Foxes headed into the fixture riding high after their impressive win against a strong Worcestershire Rapids side, and the team were batting first after losing the toss for the first time this season.

Opening for the Foxes were captain Paul Horton and Harry Dearden, who made a career-best 91 against the Rapids.

The Falcons often open with Wayne Madsen’s off-spin in the vitality Blast and repeated that tactic in the Royal London One-Day Cup competition. Horton (5, 12b) was caught behind by Harvey Hosein off the spinner.

Mark Cosgrove and Dearden settled at the crease well, hitting a good number of boundaries from the balls they received, up until the 13th over when Dearden (36, 38b) was caught by Godleman after taking a few steps down wicket and clipping to extra cover.

Another hero from the Worcestershire game, Ackermann, stepped in to replace Dearden and the Foxes had a lot of experience at the crease at this point.

Ackermann soon struck the first maximum of the game after sending Watt back down the ground. However, the partnership came to an end as Cosgrove (24, 34b) was caught by Madsen off left arm seamer Luis Reece in the 17th over.

The Foxes were soon back in familiar territory, with the fourth wicket partnership of Ackermann and Hill at the crease – the same pair that set the all-time record a matter of days before.

Hill scored 19 (21b) before Madsen made his second catch of the game off Matthew Critchley, whose leg-spin bowling was frustrating the Foxes.

Tom Taylor emerged from the pavilion to face his former team, and Ackermann went on to make his half-century in the 29th over after facing 57 balls (4x6, 1x6).

Taylor (25, 31b) was going strong and looked to be forming a useful partnership with Ackermann before being stumped by Hosein, as he raised his foot from the crease after attempting a drive off Alex Hughes.

No.3 Ackermann saw another partner depart as Callum Parkinson (11, 16b), making his maiden First XI appearance of the season, smashed a delivery from Hughes straight into the air which was comfortably caught by Godleman at deep extra cover.

Ackermann pushed on from his half-century and made his second consecutive List A century from 103 balls.

The batsman was dismissed for 119 (112b, 10x4, 2x6), caught at deep mid-wicket by du Plooy from Reece’s bowling. At the crease following those departures were Arron Lilley and Dieter Klein as the Foxes were at 245 for seven.

All-rounder Lilley was settling in nicely at the crease after hitting identical, consecutive maximums towards the Meet from the Bennett End, and Klein also had his innings up and running.

With four overs left to play, the was a delay in play due to rain as the Foxes were at 269 for seven, but the innings was able to resume after a short delay. Lilley (23, 12b) had the misfortune of hitting his own wicket, which brought Chris Wright in.

Klein and Wright both finished strongly with scores of 24* (11b) and 16 (13*) respectively, posting the highest List A score against Derbyshire Falcons of 312. It surpassed the previous best of 301 back in 1984, a game in which David Gower made 156.

Following the interval, the Falcons came out and were looking for a total of 313 in order to secure victory at the FCG but with the rain interrupting play after only 5.2 overs, and then slightly delaying the restart the DLS method came into play.

After a second delay in play, the revised total for the visitors was 266 from 39 overs, and the start for the Foxes could not have been better.

In the same over, Derbyshire lost their first wicket as Luis Reece was run out by Horton after confusion between the two batsmen. They both ended up at the same wicket, and Derbyshire were 30 for one.

Madsen came to the crease to partner captain Godleman, and having making a fine 60 (55b, 8x4, 1x6), was trapped lbw after attempting to reverse-sweep Ackermann.

That partnership was worth 105, and Godleman shared another vital stand with fellow left-hander du Plooy that would ultimately yield 125.

While Godleman was content to bat through the innings, du Plooy added some big hits in reaching 50 off 39 deliveries (4x4, 2x6) as they chipped away at a target that was 80 off the last ten overs.

The skipper reached an excellent century from 104 balls (6x4, 2x6) but the over in which he got it, the 36th of the innings, saw Taylor only concede two runs.

It meant an equation of 24 off 18 balls and although that was halved in the next offering, Taylor and Klein bowled exceptionally well under pressure, with the former conceding only four in the 38th over.

With eight needed to win off the last, Godleman was run out off the third ball looking for a second run.

A dot ball followed, but du Plooy pulled the penultimate ball behind square for four and then scampered two off the final delivery as the Falcons edged home.

The Foxes next challenge comes in the same competition at Notts Outlaws on Friday (11am start).

TEAM | Horton (capt), Dearden, Cosgrove, Ackermann, Hill (wk), Lilley, Taylor, Parkinson, Klein, Wright, Griffiths.

FIGURES | Klein 7-0-57-0, Taylor 8-0-39-0, Parkinson 3-0-31-1, Wright 6-0-39-0, Griffiths 5-0-34-0, Ackermann 8-0-42-1, Lilley 2-0-20-0.

Falcons | Godleman (capt), Reece, Lace, Madsen, A Hughes, Critchley, du Plooy, Hosein (wk), Conners, Gleadall, Watt.

IMAGES | Thanks to John Mallett of Outside Off for providing the images throughout the game.