By Jake Needham
The Derbyshire Falcons fell to defeat against the Durham Dynamos by five wickets in the Friends Life t20 at the County Ground on Wednesday.
Derbyshire came into the match unchanged, and when Falcons’ captain Wayne Madsen won the toss on a used wicket under sunny skies, he had no hesitation in batting first.
However the innings got off to a shaky start when May’s FTI Most Valuable Player Wes Durston nicked a catch behind off Liam Plunkett that ricocheted off the Mustard’s gloves before looping into the hands of Gareth Breese at first slip; the Derbyshire opener departing for a duck.
That saw the dangerous Ross Whitley come to the crease and he was immediately into his stride with a brace of boundaries off England star Graham Onions. Plunkett though was working up quite a pace, and a well directed bouncer saw a piece of Whiteley’s helmet break off.
He then attempted to lift Claydon over mid wicket only to sky a catch to Mustard for 19. This bought the Derbyshire skipper Wayne Madsen to the crease and he and overseas star Usman Khawaja made a great fist of building a solid platform with a partnership of 66.
It was with the introduction of Scott Borthwick that stifled the Falcons’ scoring rate, when he had Khawaja caught behind with a spitting leg break. Plunkett was re-introduced by Benkenstein and immediately burst through Madsen’s defences and had the skipper bowled for 26.
Borthwick continued to operate with a canny control of flight and pace, and was rewarded when Hughes was cramped for room and saw his off stump pegged back. Borthwick, the young England hopeful, was the pick of the Dynamos bowlers with figures of 2-22 from his four over quota.
The innings finished on a positive note with Tom Poynton slicing the ball over the off side field for a boundary; the Falcons closin on 141 from their 20 overs.
Derbyshire would have been encouraged with this total, considering Yorkshire had defended a similar score comfortably 48 hours prior.
The visitors got off to the perfect start with new ball bowlers Mark Turner and Tim Groenewald taking the edges of Mustard and Stokes respectively. Both wickets were caught by Poynton, the second of which was acrobatically done so by the Derbyshire academy graduate.
However with a player with the international pedigree of Herschelle Gibbs, Durham were always in the game, and the visitors would have felt confident when he was compiling a stand of 65 with another South African born player, Johannes Myburgh.
Derbyshire were in desperate need of a wicket, and as has invariably happened this season, it was the wily slow left arm of David Wainwright who provided the break through; sliding an arm ball through the defensive shot of Gibbs and bowl him for 38.
Wainwright was able to control the run rate beautifully, conceding only 25 from his four overs, allied with the prize scalp of 90 test veteran Gibbs.
Rana Naved then returned to bowl, and was able to take the wicket of the vastly experienced Dale Benkenstein, providing Poynton with his third catch of the evening.
But Durham have quality in abundance, and even the loss of players of such experience, didn’t halt Durham’s progress. Myburgh batted serenely and securely, rotating the strike and punishing anything loose, and found a willing accomplice in the shape of local batsman Gordon Muchall. Muchall was particularly severe on Chesney Hughes’s bowling, hitting the Anguillan for a four and a six.
The irrepressible Mark Turner returned to have Myburgh caught for an accomplished 42, putting the game in the balance at 125-5 in the 17th over. However Durham’s strength is that they can call on players like Gareth Breese, whose audacious reverse swept four off Naved effectively sealed the game.
The game finished in underwhelming fashion with a Turner full toss going for four byes; Durham emerging victorious by five wickets with seven balls remaining.
Inside Edge: ‘We were probably 10 or 15 runs short but it was a better performance than Monday. We bowled well up front and thought we were back in it when Gibbs got out but they took it away from us. There’s a long way to go in this tournament and we’ve got to keep our heads up and stay positive.’ - Wayne Madsen
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