A fine all-round performance from Alex Hughes – including an unbeaten 102-run stand with Shivnarine Chanderpaul – sealed an impressive 63-run victory for Derbyshire against Essex at Highfield, Leek.
Opener Wes Durston set the tone hitting 71 from 46 balls, before Chanderpaul hit an innings-high unbeaten 85 from 69 balls – including the century stand with Hughes who ended 59 not out – to help Derbyshire post their highest ever League List A score of 321.
The Falcons claimed wickets at regular intervals during the visitors reply - with Mark Footitt and Alex Hughes picking up three each, while Mark Turner and Tim Groenewald claimed two apiece, as Derbyshire bowled Essex out for 258, claiming a 63-run Yorkshire Bank 40 victory.
Despite losing the toss, Derbyshire made an excellent start courtesy of Chesney Hughes. The powerful opener hit the first three balls of the match for four, however, his short vigil was over shortly after as he was trapped lbw by David Masters for 17 from 11 balls.
But this didn’t slow up the hosts’ run rate as Durston took the attack to the Essex bowlers, hitting seven fours and five sixes - including two maximums off one Napier over - on the way to 71 from just 41 balls, before he was bowled by Saj Mahmood to reduce Derbyshire to 111-2 after 14 overs.
Paul Borrington fell shortly after for 19 – but Wayne Madsen and world number two Test batsman Chanderpaul shared a 78-run stand to move the hosts towards 200, before the Captain fell for 33 from 33 balls, including two fours and a six.
Chanderpaul continued his timely innings hitting two fours and two sixes in his 40-ball half century, before partner Richard Johnson was bowled by Graham Napier for 14 from as many balls.
But that would be the last breakthrough for the visitors as Chanderpaul and Alex Hughes shared a 102-run stand over the last 10 overs.
Chanderpaul hit five fours and two sixes in his unbeaten 85 from 69 balls, while Hughes completed a quick-fire half century, hitting six fours and three sixes on the way to 59 from 44 balls – including a six off the final delivery to move Derbyshire onto 321-5 from their allocated overs.
Derbyshire made an excellent start to the Essex innings claiming two early wickets courtesy of paceman Mark Turner. The 28-year-old first removed New Zealand Test opener Hamish Rutherford for 10 before having partner Tom Westley caught for 17 to reduce the visitors to 40-2.
But Owais Shah and Mark Pettini responded with a 61-run partnership to move the visitors past three figures, before Tim Groenewald claimed two quick wickets to put the hosts in the ascendency. The 29-year-old trapped Shah lbw for 24 followed by dangerman Ryan ten Doeschate three overs later for six to reduce Essex to 117-4 after 17 overs.
Wickets continued to fall as Mark Footitt removed Captain James Foster for seven, but Pettini and Graham Napier began the Essex fightback sharing a 65-run stand inside six overs to swing the momentum towards the visitors.
But the impressive partnership was broken when Napier, who hit 38 from 16 balls – including two fours and four sixes - was caught by Madsen off Footitt, before the left-arm seamer removed Mahmood two balls later to leave the visitors struggling on 196-7.
Essex’s hopes rested on the shoulders of 29-year-old Pettini, but his 68-ball vigil was ended when he was caught by Groenewald off Alex Hughes for 88, leaving the visitors 200-8.
Tim Phillips and Masters shared a 52-run partnership from the following six overs, but this was ended when Phillips was well caught by Turner off Alex Hughes. And Masters was bowled by the 21-year-old all-rounder two overs later for 11 to seal a 63-run win.
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