Cosgrove shines but Foxes lose crucial Blast encounter

BLAST 12 | Leicestershire Foxes 124 for nine lost to Derbyshire Falcons 128 for one by nine wickets

SCORECARD | Available from Cricinfo HERE

POINTS | Leicestershire Foxes 0, Derbyshire Falcons 2

REACTION | To follow

REPORT | Leicestershire Foxes’ Vitality Blast qualification hopes were virtually extinguished after defeat to Derbyshire Falcons at a sun-drenched Fischer County Ground.

Mark Cosgrove (45, 26b) timed the ball sweetly but the Falcons bowled and fielded with great discipline to restrict the Foxes to 124 for nine.

Skipper Billy Godleman posted 52no (58b), sharing an opening partnership worth 58 with Luis Reece and a further unbroken 70 for the second wicket with Wayne Madsen as the visitors won by nine wickets.

Although the result of Notts Outlaws versus Yorkshire Vikings was not known at the finish of this game, the fifth-placed Foxes can only draw level with Notts at best – and the Outlaws have a game in hand with a far superior net run rate.

And even if the Outlaws were to lose, there would be three teams including the Vikings that could still get beyond the 13-point mark, which is the maximum the Foxes can register.

Derbyshire Falcons, however, put themselves in a great position to get through after an excellent all-round performance took them to 14 points with their final game at Lancashire Lightning tomorrow.

The Foxes won the toss and elected to bat, and there was one change to the side as Ben Mike came in for Harry Dearden.

Cosgrove started as he meant to go on by slamming the first ball of the game high over cover for four, and after Logan van Beek brought third man into the ring, the left-hander also steered the final delivery to the ropes.

Three super straight drives yielded further fours and a six for Cosgrove, who then smoked another boundary through backward point.

Harry Swindells (5, 9b) had less of the stroke in the opening exchanges and was bowled by Fynn Hudson-Prentice.

Cosgrove continued to hit through the line of the ball, smashing Hudson-Prentice back over his head for a sixth four, before permeating the fielders at cover and mid-off for a further boundary.

A pick-up for six from Arron Lilley (8, 5b) greeted van Beek’s reintroduction to the attack, but the seamer responded by having the batsman well-held by Godleman on the edge of the circle at mid-off.

Ackermann flicked his first ball to the fine-leg boundary as the Foxes moved to 59 for two off the powerplay, but the runs dried up with Alex Hughes and Matt Critchley bowling in tandem.

Their combined eight overs yielded a return of two for 35 while there was also the key run out of Cosgrove.

The opener departed in the eighth - he had 45 of the 67 runs scored at that point - and another key wicket followed before the halfway mark as Ackermann (9, 11b) was well-held by Madsen at long-on off Critchley.

Suddenly the Foxes had gone from 37 without loss after four to 71 for four in the tenth. It was a position that the Falcons capitalised on.

Hill despatched both Hughes and Critchley over cover for a pair of fours, but he was then bowled by Critchley for 16 (19). The Foxes were at 93 for five by the time the parsimonious pair had bowled out after 14.

Another all-rounder, Reece, added to the Foxes’ problems; Aadil (8, 13b) and Callum Parkinson (6, 9b) were held at long-off and extra cover off the left armer respectively, leaving the team at 104 for seven in the 17th over.

Boundaries dried up and although Mike (8, 10b) and Dieter Klein (9, 11b) scampered hard at every opportunity, they were both run out in the closing stages.

Spin was bowled at both ends at the start of the chase and the Falcons were kept to six from the first two.

But the third over went for 24, including two boundaries for Reece and a four and six for Godleman, as the Falcons gathered momentum.

The skipper then found the cover point boundary in the third, while two sweeps brought Reece further fours in the fifth, and the stand reached 50 at the start of the 7th.

There was a huge cheer around the Fischer County Ground as Ben Stokes hit the winning runs for England against Australia at Headingley, and another as Parkinson had Reece (29, 23b) caught by Will Davis at long-on.

Davis came close to a second wicket as Madsen skied the ball but Hill, standing up to the seamer, lost the white ball in the bright blue sky.

The Falcons progressed to 69 for one at halfway, and Madsen then struck the next ball over straight mid-wicket for six and the following one through cover for four.  

A Godleman maximum took the target under 30 in the 14th over, and the skipper posted his half-century off 53 balls en route to guiding his team home alongside Madsen (37no, 31b), who hit the winning runs.

FIGURES | Parkinson 4-0-25-1, Ackermann 3-0-18-0, Klein 1-0-24-0, Lilley 4-0-22-0, Griffiths 3-0-15-0, Davis 2.3-0-14-0, Mike 1-0-6-0

TEAM | Ackermann (capt), Cosgrove, Swindells, Lilley, Dearden, Hill (wk), Aadil, Klein, Parkinson, Davis, Griffiths

FALCONS | Godleman (capt), Reece, Madsen, du Plooy, Hughes, Critchley, Dal, Hudson-Prentice, Smit (wk), van Beek, Rampaul

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