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Derbyshire opened their Friends Life t20 North Group campaign with a 17-run Duckworth-Lewis victory over Lancashire in steady rain under the Derby floodlights.

Sajid Mahmood went for 42 off 15 balls and 17 off his last three as the Falcons reached 118 for five in the 12th over after Stephen Croft hit three sixes to top score with 46 out of the Lightning's 168 for six.

Rana Naved-ul-Hasan helped the Falcons get ahead of the rate with an unbeaten 19 before the rain became too heavy. The seamer had earlier bowled four overs for 56, the second most expensive spell by a Derbyshire bowler in T20 cricket.

Steven Croft & Tom Poynton

Steven Croft propels Lancashire up to 168 for six with 46 off 35 deliveries, but it proved in vain as Derbyshire won by 17 runs

In testing conditions, his reputation as one of the competition's top bowlers was dented with his first over costing 21 as Stephen Moore pulled and drove him for two sixes and when he returned 10 overs later, Croft pulled him for two more.

In between the assault on the Pakistani all-rounder, Derbyshire bowled well in the blustery, wet conditions with Tim Groenewald having Moore caught behind for 34 from 21 balls in the sixth over.

Karl Brown made 27 off 25 deliveries after he was dropped twice before Chesney Hughes took a fierce return catch and, with David Wainwright also bowling his left-arm spin tightly, Lancashire could not break free.

Gareth Cross pulled Mark Turner for six but was run out by a smart piece of fielding by Rana off his own bowling and Croft missed out on his 50 when he chipped Turner to mid-off in the 19th over.

With the rain falling, Derbyshire needed to keep up with the D/L rate and Wes Durston gave them just the start they needed with 31 from 16 balls before he sliced the expensive Mahmood to point.

Lancashire were back in it when Derbyshire slipped from 74 for two to 82 for five in three overs but the game was decided when Mahmood returned to the attack in the 12th over.

Rana cut his first ball for four before the former England paceman conceded six wides and a no ball, and 17 had come from three legitimate balls when the umpires took the players off with Derbyshire 17 ahead of the required rate.

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