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Johnson stars as Falcons win at Queen's Park

ChesterfieldRichard Johnson hit 79 as Derbyshire Falcons recovered from 56-4 to beat Yorkshire Carnegie by three wickets in the Clydesdale Bank 40.

Having reduced the visitors to 238-7 from their 40 overs, the Falcons looked in trouble early on before recoveing to victory with 13 balls to spare in the Chesterfield sunshine.

Earlier, the Falcons had won the toss and elected to bowl first and the visitors made a decent start in front of a packed Queen's Park; Phil Jaques and Andrew Gale moving the them to 52 without loss after 10 overs.

However a much needed breakthrough arrived for the hosts two overs later, Jaques caught by Wes Durston at mid-on off the bowling of Jon Clare for 25; Yorkshire 79-1.

Gale and Joe Root then took the visitors past 100, the former playing nicely on his return to the Yorkshire side from injury.

His partner, however, became Richard Johnson’s first stumping in a Derbyshire shirt as he departed off the bowling of Durston for 33; Yorkshire reaching 103-2 at the halfway point of proceedings with Gale unbeaten on 41.

The Yorkshire captain was soon passing 50 – coming from 64 balls and including five fours – however his innings came to an end in slightly bizarre fashion, hit wicket, Yorkshire 115-3 after 23 overs.

Following an impressive spell from Durston of 2-32 from eight overs, Mark Turner then comprehensively bowled England Test batsman Jonny Bairstow for 25 to leave Yorkshire 152-5 with nine overs remaining.

It was then briefly the Garry Ballance and Richard Pyrah show, the pair taking full advantage of the short boundaries and fast outfield.

The hard-hitting duo saw Yorkshire past 200 before the former fell three short of his half-century; caught Wayne Madsen at mid-on off Groenewald.

With Carnegie looking to force the initiative in the final overs, Pyrah then hit three consecutive sixes off Jon Clare as, despite the dismissal of Adil Rashid for four, the visitors took 21 off the penultimate over.

Pyrah’s explosive knock off 44 from just 28 deliveries was curtailed with two balls of the innings to go as Tim Groenewald took his second wicket; Yorkshire closing on 238-7.

The Derbyshire reply got off to the worst possible start as Usman Khawaja – a centurion last time out against the Unicorns – fell in the first over for a golden duck.

However his opening partner, Chesney Hughes, was looking good; two consecutive fours through the off-side off Australian Mitchell Starc taking the left-handed batsman move to 20.

However Starc did not have to wait long for revenge, removing Hughes’ off-stump with the very next ball, and when Durston (15) and Dan Redfern (4) followed suit shortly after, the hosts were in trouble at 56-4.

Any thoughts of a Derbyshire collapse, however, were gradually distinguished as Madsen and Johnson began repairing the damage; the pair progressing the score to 100-4 in the 16th over.

With Derbyshire back in the game and the partnership for the fifth wicket standing at 64, the momentum once again swung the way of the visitors as Madsen departed, caught and bowled Rashid, for 40; Derbyshire 123-5 at the halfway stage.

With Johnson playing an important and intelligent innings, Clare then threatened to ably support the on loan Warwickshire keeper, hitting Azeem Rafiq for a six over mid-wicket.

However there was little the all-rounder could do with a Rashid delivery shortly after which looped, pitched and found the edge of Clare’s bat; the ball falling into the safe hands of Jaques at slip.

The dismissal did little to faze Johnson though, who was soon reaching his half-century off 54 balls as the match headed towards a close finish; Derbyshire requiring 55 runs from the final 10 overs with four wickets remaining.

The Falcons were then indebted to both Johnson and young Alex Hughes, who continued to chip away at the deficit without too much alarm and with five overs remaining, the hosts were well placed, requiring 28 runs to win.

However, shortly before the re-introduction of the  dangerous Starc, Johnson’s fine knock of 79 came to an end; cutting straight to Jaques at cover off Wardlaw.

Hughes and David Wainwright were in no mood to relinquish the initiative though and it was the Derbyshire Academy graduate that saw the Falcons home with a drive through the covers to take him to a very impressive unbeaten 37 and Derbyshire to a three wicket victory with 13 balls to spare.

Inside Edge 'It was a great chase from the boys and we bowled really well too. It was a good pitch and we knew with our batting capabilities that we could chase down the target and we're over the moon.' - Richard Johnson

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