Foxes land vital win at Falcons

BLAST 10 | Leicestershire Foxes 149 for seven beat Derbyshire Falcons 94 by 55 runs

SCORECARD | Available from Cricinfo HERE

POINTS | Derbyshire Falcons 0, Leicestershire Foxes 2

REACTION | To follow

REPORT | Leicestershire Foxes again produced brilliance with the ball and in the field to land a priceless 55-run Vitality Blast victory on another record-breaking night at rivals Derbyshire Falcons.

Chasing 150, the Falcons chase was in tatters at 24 for six after the powerplay as Gavin Griffiths (3-0-14-3), who took a second career-best in the space of four matches, bowled a game-changing fourth over.

There were three wickets in total while Colin Ackermann’s bowling and the television cameras go hand in glove. Tonight’s effort of 4-0-9-3 was the most economical by a Foxes bowler and meant the spinner has claimed 10 for 27 off eight overs on Sky Sports this season.

The Foxes worked hard to put a score on the board after Mark Cosgrove (38, 26b, 6x4) top-scored on a night where the batsman passed a couple of landmarks.

Cosgrove became Leicestershire Foxes’ highest scorer in all T20 cricket when registering his 13th run, moving past Paul Nixon’s total of 1,455, and also scored his 3,000th T20 career run during the knock.

It means the Foxes have now lost just once in six matches, have won back-to-back away matches, and are now fourth in the table.

Captain Ackermann won the toss on a pleasant evening at the Pattonair County Ground where batting was challenging.

Cosgrove opened his boundary account with a flowing drive through extra in the first over. Harry Swindells then cracked Ravi Rampaul’s first delivery to the cover point boundary before Cosgrove launched a slower ball over mid-off.

Young all-rounder Fynn Hudson-Prentice bowled a tight third over and that led to a wicket in the next over as Swindells (10, 12b) lofted Rampaul to Billy Godleman at mid-off.

Further fours came as Cosgrove carved beyond point and hit down the ground, while Lilley hit the first maximum over mid-on towards the marquee.

The score reached 43 for one after the powerplay, and reached the half-century mark after 6.4 overs as Cosgrove just got enough to send one over backward point.

A forceful straight hit from Cosgrove had umpire Neil Mallender ducking for cover as twelve came off the seventh.

But Lilley (16, 16b) was caught by Matt Critchley at backward point off left-armer Luis Reece, leaving the score at 60 for two after eight.

Ackermann struck a four straight back over Critchley’s head but the Foxes lost another key wicket as Cosgrove hit the leg-spinner to Hudson-Prentice at deep mid-wicket.

The Foxes lost momentum with Reece (4-0-28-1) and Critchley (4-0-25-2) bowling nicely, but Ackermann cracked the leggie to mid-wicket to break the shackles.

Harry Dearden (12, 12b) lofted the first ball of the returning Alex Hughes over backward square to take the score to three figures after 13.1 overs but then hit the all-rounder to long-off.

And a second wicket fell in the space of five deliveries when Ackermann (28, 21b) swept the impressive Critchley towards Reece, who took a super diving catch in the deep.

Lewis Hill and Aadil Ali had yet to face and worked the ball around to get in, before the ‘keeper scored a welcome boundary with a reverse ramp off Rampaul.

Both Hill (15, 14b) and Aadil (18, 15b), who hit the third maximum of the innings, perished in the pursuit of quick runs – caught at deep mid-wicket off Hughes and Rampaul respectively – before Callum Parkinson finished with a flourish.

Parkinson (10no, 4b) struck the final two balls of the innings over the off-side ring to give the Falcons a chase of seven-and-a-half.

An early wicket was taken by Dieter Klein as Reece (6, 10b), who had been struck on the helmet by a sharp bouncer from the left-armer, drove a slower ball to Swindells at backward point.

Madsen (6, 4b) pulled his first delivery high over mid-wicket for six before Ackermann (4-0-9-3) struck for the eighth time in front of the cameras in the space of 4.2 overs. The off-spinner had the key batsman well-held by Cosgrove at short third man after he attempted a reverse-sweep.

The fourth over from Griffiths was unbelievable for the Foxes with three wickets and only one run scored.

Godleman (2, 3b) uppercut the first ball to Parkinson at third man, du Plooy (0, 5b) pulled his next ball to a backpedalling Lilley at deep backward square-leg, while Darren Stevens (0, 3b) was run out by a pinpoint throw by Ackermann from mid-off.

The Falcons were at 19 with their top five back in the pavilion, and Will Davis bowled another good over for three.

Griffiths’ amazing night continued as Hughes (3, 8b) fell in the same manner as du Plooy, meaning the Falcons were in all sorts of trouble at 28 for six after the powerplay.

Although the home side had little choice but to regroup, they got well behind the rate at 44 for six after ten.

Hudson-Prentice hit a straight six and four in the 11th, but Parkinson yorked Critchley (21, 20b) before catching Hudson-Prentice (14, 18b) off Ackermann.

The game was now up, and Ackermann claimed his third when a reverse-sweep from Logan van Beek (5, 13b) went straight into the gloves of Hill before Davis bowled Rampaul (7, 8b).

Leicestershire Foxes now have a quick turnaround given the next game is at Northants Steelbacks tomorrow (6.30pm start)

FIGURES | Parkinson 4-0-29-1, Klein 4-0-24-1, Ackermann 4-0-9-3, Griffiths 3-0-14-3, Davis 3.2-0-12-1

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

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

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