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Blast-Off! ECB sends cricket ball into space

SpaceLaunchThe England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) sent a cricket ball to the edge of space for the first time to signal the start of the NatWest T20 Blast competition.

To announce the start of the competition, the ECB worked with a team of aeronautical engineers to launch an official match ball from Edgbaston Stadium, Birmingham, reaching a peak altitude of 110,000 feet, approximately three times the height at which a commercial airplane cruises.

During its freefall, the white ball reached speeds of up to 500 mph before a parachute deployed and it travelled safely back to earth, landing in Newbury, Berkshire, in near-perfect condition.

The ball’s journey to its peak altitude was captured on video, creating some incredible footage of the ball’s ascension to where no ball has ever been before.

You can view the video here:

Read more: Blast-Off! ECB sends cricket ball into space

[VIDEO] North: It’s nice to contribute early on

MarcusNorthMarcus North says he was pleased to make a contribution on his return to the Club, but was disappointed that Derbyshire fell just short against Leicestershire last night.

North hit a career-best Twenty20 score, smashing six sixes and six fours in his 90 off just 47 balls. But his stylish innings wasn’t enough as Derbyshire slipped to a 27-run defeat at Grace Road.

“It’s nice to contribute early on, get a bit of confidence and score a few runs for the side,” North said.  “Hopefully this can continue next Friday against Lancashire.

“It was disappointing that I couldn’t get the boys over the line as I thought we had a chance. I felt if a couple of us had got going then we would have been in with a shout, but it wasn’t to be. I was pleased though to contribute on my first outing back at Derbyshire.

“It’s always tough to chase 200,” he added. “You need a lot of things to go your way which unfortunately it didn’t.

Read more: [VIDEO] North: It’s nice to contribute early on

North brilliance in vain as Foxes claim victory

MarcusNorthMarcus North hit the fourth highest Twenty20 score ever by a Derbyshire player, but it wasn’t enough as Leicestershire Foxes claimed victory at Grace Road.

North struck six fours and six sixes during a stylish innings to hit his career-best Twenty20 score of 90 off just 47 balls, but it was ultimately in vain as Derbyshire fell 27 runs short.

This was after New Zealand international Scott Styris had earlier hit 63 off 31 balls to help Leicestershire score a match winning 197-5 off their 20 overs.

It only took two deliveries for Mark Footitt (1-45 off four) to claim the Falcons’ first wicket of the new competition, as Niall O’Brien was caught on the third-man boundary by Tim Groenewald who did very well to hold on to a high swirling ball.

Joshua Cobb and Greg Smith enjoyed some success, however, against the Derbyshire seam attack adding 69 runs in eight overs, before Cobb (2 fours, 3 sixes) was stumped off Wes Durston (1-33 off four) for 38.

Read more: North brilliance in vain as Foxes claim victory

North hoping to make immediate impact

MarcusNorthMarcus North says he’s delighted to be back at Derbyshire and hopes he can make an immediate impact when the county begins it NatWest T20 Blast campaign this evening.

The 34-year-old is set to make his second debut for the Club after enjoying a brief spell at The 3aaa County Ground in 2006, during which he wowed members with 465 stylish runs, in three first-class matches, with two centuries and an average of 93.

North returns to Derbyshire on the back of a successful Sheffield Shield campaign down under in which he was crowned Player of the Season after topping the run-scoring charts with 884 runs, at an average of 68, including three centuries.

“I’m delighted to be back at Derbyshire,” North said. “I just had a short stint back in 2006 but it was an enjoyable one.

“I have been able to play a few games against Derbyshire over the years and it has always been nice to come back.

Read more: North hoping to make immediate impact

Second XI claim back-to-back T20 wins

SecondXIDerbyshire Second XI claimed back-to-back Twenty20 victories against Yorkshire Second XI at The 3aaa County Ground.

A number of first team players featured in both fixtures as the squad completed their final preparations ahead of the new NatWest T20 Blast campaign, which begins on Friday against Leicestershire at Grace Road.

In Game 1, Tom Knight top scored with an unbeaten 32, while Ben Slater added 21 as Derbyshire posted 117-8 off their 20 overs.

In reply, Yorkshire slipped to 20-6 thanks to some superb bowling from the Derbyshire seamers. Mark Turner began the rot before returning figures of 2 for 16 off his four overs, while Matt Higginbottom was the pick of the bowlers with figures of 3 for 11 off four overs.

Andrew Hodd added 36 to give his side hope of reaching their victory target, but two wickets from Tony Palladino (2 for 19 off 3.3 overs) helped dismissed the visitors for just 91 to hand Derbyshire a 26-run victory.

Read more: Second XI claim back-to-back T20 wins

Hughes: Falcons can fly in NatWest T20 Blast

ChesneyHughesChesney Hughes cannot wait for rocking Friday nights at The 3aaa County Ground as NatWest T20 Blast fever sets in this summer.

There is excitement aplenty around the county as the Falcons gear up for the reformatted competition, with the first home game on Friday 23 May versus Lancashire Lightning.

We have a fun-filled evening planned with family-fun entertainment – including a Bowling Challenge as you found out how fast you can bowl! Supporters will also be able to collect autographs from Derbyshire players at the end of the match.

One of the main innovations is Friday night games, when it is hopes spectators will turn out in droves and create the kind of carnival atmosphere the shortest form craves. Hughes, Derbyshire’s big-hitting left-hander, is one of those readying himself for what should be a cracking campaign.

Read more: Hughes: Falcons can fly in NatWest T20 Blast

North arrives to cover Chanderpaul absence

MarcusNorthMarcus North has arrived to begin his second spell with Derbyshire and provide cover for Shivnarine Chanderpaul who will return to the West Indies this weekend. 

North’s arrival comes as a boost for Graeme Welch who will have both international batsmen available for the Falcons’ opening NatWest T20 Blast fixture against Leicestershire at Grace Road on Friday.

Chanderpaul will then leave Derbyshire on Sunday 18 May to join up with his West Indies teammates for a training camp ahead of their Test series with New Zealand.

He will return to The 3aaa County Ground at the beginning of July and will be available alongside North for the county’s final five group Twenty20 fixtures.

Former Australia Test batsman North will play in four LV= County Championship fixtures in Chanderpaul’s absence, beginning with the visit of Gloucestershire on Sunday 25 May.

Read more: North arrives to cover Chanderpaul absence

Moore half-century secures draw with Kent

MooreStephen Moore hit an unbeaten half-century as Derbyshire secured a draw against Kent on the final day at The 3aaa County Ground.

Kent declared on 235-6 midway through the afternoon session - with Brendan Nash 95 not out – to secure a 117 first-innings lead, leaving Derbyshire 49 overs to bat. 

The hosts made a good start in reply led by Moore who ended the day unbeaten on 73. Opening partner Borrington was also undefeated on 31 as Derbyshire reached 106-0 when the two sides shook hands. Derbyshire take seven points from the fixture while Kent pick up nine.

Resuming the day on 10-0, the Kent batsmen played positively as they attempted to force an unlikely final day win.  

Nash was the star man for the visitors, hitting seven fours and two sixes in his unbeaten 95 off just 98 balls. He was assisted by Darren Stevens (33 off 27 balls), Ben Harmison (27) and Bell Drummond (24) as Kent declared on 235-6 shortly before Tea. Tim Groenewald (2-59) and Mark Footitt (2-66) claimed two wickets apiece.

Read more: Moore half-century secures draw with Kent

No play on day three against Kent

RainNo play was possible on day three against Kent due to persistent rain at The 3aaa County Ground. 

Rain, which had washed out the entire opening day and parts of day two, returned on the penultimate day to wash out any hopes of play. 

Kent will now begin the final day on 10-0 (Rob Key 1* and Sam Northeast 9*) in response to Derbyshire's 118 all out. 

Forecast is much approved for day four and play will begin at 11am at The 3aaa County Ground. 

Click here to view scorecard>>

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