Three wickets in the final over from Mark Footitt won a thrilling Twenty20 encounter – by a solitary run - against Hampshire at the Kensington Oval today.
The game looked to be lost when, with ten needed to win off the last over, Footitt – who took 4 for 11 in all - bowled a high full toss, a no-ball, which flew past wicketkeeper Tom Poynton and cost five runs in total.
But the former Nottinghamshire paceman made amends in fine style by clean bowling Chris Wood, David Balcombe and Michael Bates and securing the most dramatic of victories.
David Wainwright (pictured below) had earlier taken 3 for 25 and Chesney Hughes 2 for 18 to leave the Royals in trouble at 62-5 at the halfway stage, chasing 139 to win after Wayne Madsen’s half-century held together the innings for Karl Krikken’s Falcons.
Adam Rouse took Hampshire close with an impressive 32 before he became the most important, but least dramatic, of Footitt’s match-winning four-wicket haul.
Derbyshire lost the toss and were asked to bat first; and Wes Durston was unable to repeat the form that saw him score 93 versus Barbados XI earlier in the day and he was caught at cover for 16, leaving Derbyshire 25-1 after 2.3 overs.
Ross Whiteley, meanwhile, had scored 75 off just 34 balls against the Barbadians. But he too couldn’t match those heroics as he miscued a pull against Sean Ervine and was caught at square-leg for 13.
Chesney Hughes, later to play such a crucial hand with the ball, showed promise scoring 24 off 16 balls. But the advent of spin saw him caught on the cover boundary off the bowling of Michael Carberry, making the score 55-3 after 6.4 overs.
Paul Borrington (14) was bowled by Dawson giving himself room. And when Garry Park was run out for a single, Derbyshire were on the brink of collapse at 88-5 with less than eight overs remaining.
But Madsen (pictured below) showed impressive resolve to battle through the tricky patch that followed and he scored 54 not out off 47 balls, taking his side to a competitive, and eventually match-winning, total.
Wainwright (13) kept his captain company for 5.2 overs while 44 runs were added for the sixth wicket as the Falcons posted 138 for 7 from their 20 overs.
Hampshire set off purposefully in reply as James Vince (33 off 31 balls) set the pace in an opening stand of 50 off seven overs with Michael Carberry, before the latter handed Wainwright the first of his three wickets by lobbing a catch to Paul Borrington at deep-midwicket.
Sean Terry (4) quickly followed in a similar fashion and – with Wainwright then trapping Vince lbw – the Falcons were right back in the game at 59-3 after 8.4 overs.
Hughes then got in on the act with two wickets in two balls; Dawson lbw for two and Jimmy Adams first ball thanks to a stinging catch by Madsen at midwicket and – for the only time in the match – Derbyshire were favourites.
From 62-5, Rouse began to repair the damage alongside Sean Ervine as the pair added 31 in three overs. But the game swung Derbyshire’s way again when the powerful arm of Paul Borrington ran out the former Zimbabwe international for 18.
That was 93-6 after 14.3 overs. And the score had reached 120 by the time Footitt, in his own erratic but eventually brilliant way, was introduced to swing the match for, against, and eventually decisively for Derbyshire in the kind of thrilling finale we all hope for again when Friends Life t20 begins in June.
Durston c Adams b Balcombe 16
Hughes c Rouse b Carberry 24
Whiteley c Rouse b Ervine 13
Madsen not out 54
Borrington b Dawson 14
Park run out 1
Wainwright c Bates b Balcombe 13
Poynton c Vince b Wood 0
Clare not out 0
Extras (1b 2w) 3
Total (7 wkts, 20 overs) 138
Fall: 1-25, 2-52, 3-55, 4-87, 5-88, 6-132, 7-138.
Bowling: Griffiths 2-0-25-0, Wood 4-0-30-1, Balcombe 4-0-29-2, Ervine 2-0-5-1, Carberry 4-0-25-1, Dawson 4-0-23-1.
Carberry c Borrington b Wainwright 19
Vince lbw Wainwright 33
Terry c Hughes b Wainwright 4
Ervine run out 18
Dawson lbw Hughes 2
Adams c Madsen b Hughes 0
Rouse c Wainwright b Footitt 32
Wood b Footitt 10
Bates b Footitt 5
Balcombe b Footitt 0
Griffiths not out 1
Extras (4lb 2w 7nb) 13
Total (19.5 overs) 137
Fall: 1-50, 2-57, 3-59, 4-62, 5-62, 6-93, 7-120, 8-134, 9-134.
Bowling: Durston 4-0-39-0, Evans 3-0-15-0, Wainwright 4-0-25-3, Hughes 4-0-18-2, Whiteley 3-0-25-0, Footitt 2-0-11-4.
Derbyshire won by one run
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