Derbyshire suffered final ball heartbreak at the hands of their former all-rounder as Leicestershire won by four overs in Derby tonight.
Wayne White edged to the third man boundary to snatch victory for the Foxes despite impressive earlier performances from Wes Durston, Chesney Hughes, Wayne Madsen and Garry Park with the bat; and an exemplary spell of fast bowling from overseas player Rana Naved.
Usman Khawaja was first to go after Derbyshire won the toss and elected to bat on a pleasant but blustery evening at the County Ground in a match that started half an hour later than usual due to the Olympic Torch celebrations.
The Australia international top-edged Nathan Buck and was caught by Ned Eckersley for 12; Derbyshire 17-1 after 2.4 overs.
But the Falcons had an ace up their sleeve with the unleashing of Chesney Hughes at number three in the order.
It was three places higher than his resident spot in Friends Life t20 this season. But the promotion paid dividends as the burly Anguillan smashed 48 off just 31 balls, with four fours and two sixes, before he was bowled by Josh Cobb; 87-2 after 11.4 overs.
Wayne Madsen also looked in excellent touch in his knock of 33 from 19 balls and Garry Park’s 20 not out at the death came off just ten deliveries.
Wes Durston, meanwhile, was anchoring the innings, scoring 55 not out off 50 deliveries as the Falcons raced to their highest total of the competition to date; 171-3.
Abdul Razzaq and Josh Cobb launched a vicious assault in reply posting 66 for the first wicket in just 5.5 overs before the Pakistani, who had just hit three successive fours, picked out Khawaja at midwicket to depart for 28.
Cobb maintained the venom reaching 42 off 23 balls before the 8th over introduction of Rana Naved brought the crucial breakthrough at 77-2 after 7.2 overs.
With the required run rate very much in hand, Ramnaresh Sarwan and Matthew Boyce looked to be easing the visitors towards their victory target with a third wicket stand of 54, only for a clutch of wickets to swing the game back in favour of the Falcons.
A Wayne Madsen direct hit accounted for the dangerous West Indian for 22 and Boyce swotted Tom Knight into the grateful hands of Khawaja on the midwicket boundary to depart for 25 as the Falcons looked to be swooping towards victory.
Greg Smith then spooned Garry Park to point having scored just 4. And when Park took a simple catch at long-on to dismiss Ned Eckersley for nought off the impressive Naved, Leicestershire were 135-6 after 17.1 overs needed a further 37 to win.
The penultimate over of the match, bowled by the otherwise exemplary Alex Hughes, cost 23 however and left the Foxes needing 11 off the final over, bowled by Naved.
Seven were needed off three balls when Wayne White’s attempted scoop over the keeper was shelled by Chesney Hughes and the batsmen took three runs.
Two balls later the former Derbyshire all-rounder was on strike again needing three off the final delivery for victory.
An edged four took home the spoils for the triumphant Friends Life t20 holders at the end of a thrilling night’s entertainment at the County Ground.
Inside Edge: 'We’re gutted because we played well for large periods of the game so to lose in such a way right at the death is disappointing; that’s the way T20 can go at times.' - Wayne Madsen
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