Final over drama at the FCG
BLAST 8 | Leicestershire Foxes 143 for four vs Derbyshire Falcons 147 for eight. Derbyshire Falcons win by 4 runs.
SCORECARD | Available from Cricinfo HERE
POINTS | Leicestershire Foxes 0, Derbyshire Falcons 2.
REPORT | The Foxes were back on home turf at the Fischer County Ground to face Derbyshire Falcons in the eighth round of the Vitality Blast 2020 competition.
On a hot and humid Tuesday evening, the Derbyshire skipper, Billy Godleman won the toss and elected to bat first meaning Callum Parkinson opened the bowling for the Running Foxes with Luis Reece on strike, alongside Godleman.
The Foxes restricted the Falcons in the powerplay with the visitors posting 42 for one wicket following energetic and accurate fielding as well as tight bowling from the Running Foxes.
Callum Parkinson claimed the first wicket for the Foxes as he beat Luis Reece who was advancing down the wicket to leave Lewis Hill a simple stumping for 3, leaving Derbyshire on 9 for one.
Wayne Madsen came into the middle and made an impressive start striking four boundaries and a maximum to move the Falcons to 42 for one after the powerplay. The Foxes mixed spin with seam as they hunted for the second wicket.
The Foxes were continuing to restrict the Falcons with only two overs in double figures.
The Falcons fifty was then brought up in the eighth over.
As Will Davis came into the Foxes attack with Godleman on strike, the batsman advanced down the wicket but got the former-Derbyshire man’s delivery stuck under his feet. He managed to clip it into the off side as he set off for a quick single, however, his partner in the middle had other thoughts, but with Godleman nearing the non-strikers end Madsen set off down the wicket.
Alert fielding from the Foxes Skipper scooped up the loose ball and sent it to Lewis Hill who had time aplenty to pouch it and knock off the stumps, as the Running Foxes claimed the crucial wicket of Madsen for 33 off 22 balls.
As the over came to a close, the Falcons were at the half-way stage of their innings, with Leus du and Godleman in the middle with the visitors on 64 for two.
Parkinson checked back into the attack as the Foxes searched for their third wicket and the decision from the Foxes skipper paid dividends, with the big wicket of Godleman. The Falcons skipper initially sent Parkinson for six from the first ball of the over, but the Foxes spinner exacted revenge with the next ball.
Parkinson and Hill linked up for the second time in the evening as Godleman feel to the same fate as Reece as he was beaten by Parkinson’s off side delivery as he advanced down the wicket, leaving Hill with his second simple stumping of the night, as Godleman went for 34 off 36 balls.
Derbyshire’s ton was brought up in the fifteenth over and two quick wickets followed in the following two overs.
The first came from Gavin Griffiths as Will Davis slid in from the long on boundary to catch du Plooy’s high top-edge for 21(18b). The next came from Gareth Delany who bowled Matt Critchley for 14(11b) leaving the Falcons on 108 for five.
In the final stages, the Foxes, and Gavin Griffiths, finished with a flourish.
On 19.1, Anuj Dal was the first to be dismissed, clean bowled for 14. Matthew McKiernan then followed Dal back into the pavilion on 19.5 for 1(2b), caught at deep mid-wicket by Nick Welch. Finally, with the last ball of the innings, Griffiths dismissed Hughes for 25, caught by Lilley running in from long on.
With the three final-over wicket, Griffiths posted career best figures of 4-0-35-4 and the Falcons finished on 147 for eight.
The Running Foxes began their innings with Nick Welch on strike alongside Gareth Delany, facing the spin of Wayne Madsen.
The pair began impressively scoring six boundaries between them to move the Foxes to 28 without loss after the third over.
The first wicket then fell as Delany pulled a shot and was caught at short fine leg by Hughes for 18 [13b, 4x4], off Michael Cohen.
Arron Lilley came into the middle but left shortly after as he was caught by Melton off the bowling of Cohen for 2(6b).
Colin Ackermann joined Welch as the Falcons were beginning to restrict the Foxes, however, with Ackermann on strike he hit a back-to-back boundaries to bring up the Foxes fifty in the seventh.
The Foxes lost Ackermann in the tenth over as he edged a Hughes delivery through to Guest who took the pouch and dismissed the Foxes skipper for 15 [16b, 2x4, 1x6].
The wicket of Welch [32, 26b, 3x4, 1x6] then followed in the eleventh bowled by Critchley.
The Foxes were on 75 for four as George Rhodes and Harry Dearden were at the crease. The pair were running tirelessly in the middle to take the partnership to 27 off 19b and bring up the 100 runs in the fourteenth.
Heading into the final five overs, the Foxes were chasing 42 runs. Adopting an arguably, conservative strategy, the Running Foxes were driving for singles in between the stumps, however, two boundaries from Dearden seemed to reduce the pressure.
The final two overs left a chase of 20 runs, and four leg byes from 19.1 eased the pressure for the duo in the middle. They then went on to run three from 19.3 and finished the over needing 10 to claim their third win of the 2020 Vitality Blast.
Dusty Melton was the man with the ball in hand as four singles and a dot ball left the Foxes needing six from the final delivery to claim the win.
Rhodes was the man on strike looking to follow in Ben Mike’s footsteps just four days ago.
Melton delivered a full delivery that Rhodes edged into the off side. The shot went higher than it did farther and should have been caught by McKiernan in the covers. However, the Englishman fumbled the catch, which carried no repercussions as Rhodes and Dearden could only run a single in their pursuit of a maximum.
The Running Foxes failed to chase down the target of 148 set by Derbyshire Falcons as the visitors claimed their first win in the 2020 Vitality Blast.
FIGURES | Parkinson 4-0-29-2, Ackermann 3-0-15-0, Griffiths 4-0-35-4, Davis 4-0-33-0, Mike 2-0-15-0, Delany 2-0-16-1, Lilley 1-0-3-0
FOXES | Ackermann (c), Lilley, Dearden, Delany, Hill (wk), Rhodes, Swindells, Mike, Parkinson, Griffiths, Davis.
FALCONS | Godleman (c), Reece, Madsen, du Plooy, Hughes, Critchley, Dal, Guest (wk), Mckiernan, Cohen, Melton
IMAGES | Thanks to John Mallet of Outside Off for supplying images throughout the game.