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Spirited Derbyshire make New Zealand sweat

AbuDhabiDerbyshire produced a spirited performance and pushed their international opponents all the way, but fell just short against New Zealand at the Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.

Former Derbyshire man Martin Guptill starred with the bat for the Black Caps, adding 57 off 42 balls, as New Zealand posted 177-5 from their 20 overs. 

Graeme Welch’s side made a good start in reply with Wes Durston and Stephen Moore both adding 37 runs against the international Twenty20 outfit, but despite a defiant performance fell just 26 runs short.

New Zealand made a solid start after winning the toss at the Zayed Stadium.

Guptill and Kane Williamson (32) shared a 68-run opening stand in 9.5 overs before David Wainwright (1-26 off four) found the breakthrough courtesy of a smart catch from Mark Footitt on the boundary.

The Derbyshire bowlers did a good job to restrict the Kiwi batsmen over the next five overs, claiming the wickets of Corey Anderson (7) and Guptill, who was superbly ran out by Wayne Madsen, to leave New Zealand on 109-3 after 15 overs.

But Ronchi (31 not out), Munro (25) and Nathan McCullum (19 not out) hit some lusty blows in the final overs to move New Zealand on to an imposing total despite late wickets for Footitt (1-38), Jonathan Clare (1-27) and Chesney Hughes (1-12).

Derbyshire made a solid start in reply with Hughes and Stephen Moore adding 22 together inside the opening three overs, before Hughes (9) was run out attempting a quick second run.

This, however, brought Durston to the crease and alongside Moore they put Derbyshire into a strong position at the halfway stage at 90-1 - 22 runs ahead of New Zealand at the same stage - before Moore fell for 37 off 27 balls – which included two sixes and two fours.

Only 13 more runs were added before Durston – who hit five fours and one six – was the third man out for an excellent 37 off 26 balls, with Derbyshire 103-3.

Welch’s side struggled over the next few overs as Jim Neesham was particularly difficult to get away. Billy Godleman and Wayne Madsen, however, were unable to up the rate to move Derbyshire onto 121-3 in the 15th over, still ahead of the Kiwis at this stage. 

And despite Godleman falling for 25 off 21 balls, Derbyshire continued to push for victory with Madsen adding 21 runs, but his side were just unable to reach the required total and fell short of their 178 victory target, closing on 151-6.

Derbyshire now compete in a two-day fixture against Worcestershire starting tomorrow at 6.30am (UK time). 

DERBYSHIRE | Moore, C.Hughes, Durston, Godleman, Madsen, Slater, Poynton, Clare, Wainwright, Groenewald, Footitt.

NEW ZEALAND | Guptill, Williamson, Munro, Anderson, Ronchi, Neesham, N.McCullum, Devcich, Southee, Hira, McClenaghan.

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