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North star role not enough

A stunning 47-ball 90 from Marcus North was in vain as Derbyshire Falcons fell 27 short of Leicestershire Foxes’ mammoth 197 for four.

Leicestershire’s win in the opening round of NatWest T20 Blast games owed much to a mighty impressive batting display.

Scott Styris’ 63 not out from just 31 deliveries proved decisive at Grace Road as the three-time winners, inserted by their opponents, recovered from the early loss of Niall O'Brien.

Styris was the star of the show, with a knock that included seven fours and three sixes, while there were also important contributions from captain Josh Cobb (38), Greg Smith (35) and Ned Eckersley (33).

North struck consecutive sixes three times and also hit six fours, but it was not enough as the visitors ended up on 170 for seven.

Things had begun in concerning fashion for Leicestershire, just the second ball of the match seeing O'Brien go for a golden duck - caught by Tim Groenewald at third man off Mark Footitt.

But after that, they soon got into their stride as Cobb - who hit three sixes - and Smith produced a fine array of shots to put on a second-wicket stand of 69.

Marcus North goes aerial during a swashbuckling 90 that could not get Derbyshire near Leicestershire's mighty 197 for four at Grace Road

Cobb then fell victim to Wes Durston, stumped by Gareth Cross, but the Foxes continued to make decent progress before Smith looped a Chesney Hughes delivery to Shivnarine Chanderpaul.

It was at that point that Styris entered the fray and he lost his partner in the 16th over, Eckersley caught at mid-off by Durston off Jonathan Clare.

Styris and Tom Wells, with 13 not out then saw out the remaining overs unscathed.

It was not long before Derbyshire's reply was in trouble, Nathan Buck making the breakthrough in the third over by sending Hughes' middle stump cartwheeling.

Buck soon had his second wicket as O'Brien caught Stephen Moore for 24 and Chanderpaul was gone for a duck in the following over, bowled by Anthony Ireland.

Derbyshire then stabilised a little, North and Durston (28) putting on 70 for the fourth wicket, before the latter was dismissed by a superb one-handed diving catch by Cobb off Buck, who finished with 3-26.

Cross was then caught on the boundary by Rob Taylor off Jigar Naik, but North kept going and appeared set for a possible one-man rescue job until he was bowled by Ireland in the 18th over with Derbyshire on 153.

Groenewald was subsequently run out by Cobb in the final over as Leicestershire saw out the win.

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