Derbyshire travelled to Old Trafford for the return match against the only team they had defeated in this competition so far in 2012.
Wayne Madsen won the toss and chose to field first. Moore was stumped by Tom Poynton off Wes Durston in the first over of the innings, but Smith and Croft then added 54 in 8.3 overs for the second wicket.
Rana Naved-ul-Hasan and Tom Knight slowed the scoring rate and the eight wickets to fall were shared amongst four bowlers. The pitch seemed to be slow and unhelpful for stroke play: Lancashire reached the boundary on only six occasions, the last of them being the fifth over, and they were only able to reach the modest score of 122 in their twenty overs.
Derbyshire knew that they would have to bat well if they were to reach what was likely to be a trickier target than the numbers would suggest. Their openers, Durston and Usman Khawaja, played the first 2.3 overs carefully to score ten runs and then Durston used his feet to hit the three remaining balls of the over from Croft for straight sixes. While Khawaja played steadily, Durston kept playing shots and he made his fifty off only 24 balls with five fours and three sixes.
Durston’s fifty arrived during the six-over Powerplay and it seemed unlikely that Derbyshire would fail to win. Parry and Keedy both bowled very well and runs became much more difficult to come by. When Durston was stumped and Khawaja bowled in the tenth over from Keedy, Derbyshire needed 46 runs in ten overs with eight wickets in hand.
It should have been straightforward, but there seemed to be some anxiety and nerves about and five more wickets fell before Naved came in to play the only ball he faced through the covers for four. Chesney Hughes had kept his head and made sure that the possible disaster was avoided.
Thus Derbyshire won by three wickets with seven balls remaining: there was no doubt that Durston would be named the Man of the Match for his outstanding 56 to follow his two wickets at a cost of only four runs an over.
This win lifted Derbyshire back above Leicestershire again, and left their supporters thinking, “If only…”. Two more wins would have seen them challenging for a place in Finals day, and the players all know that they should have won both their matches against Leicestershire.
Lancashire 122 for 8 (SJ Croft 48, PJ Horton 27*; R Naved-ul-Hasan 3 for 20, WJ Durston 2 for 16, TD Groenewald 2 for 25)
Derbyshire 124 for 7 (18.5 overs) (WJ Durston 56, CJ Hughes 24*; G Keedy 2 for 20, G Chapple 2 for 32)
Derbyshire (2 points) beat Lancashire (0) by 3 wickets
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