Leicestershire break their duck
Leicestershire finally got the defence of their Friends Life t20 title up and running, beating Derbyshire by eight runs in a North Group game reduced to eight overs a side due to rain.
It was the Foxes’ first win in the competition this season following four consecutive defeats, while the Falcons suffered their third loss in a row.
Leicestershire, put into bat after rain delayed the start by just over two hours at Grace Road, scored 80 for three with Greg Smith hitting 23 off 15 balls.
Derbyshire then made a flying start in their reply, scoring 15 runs off the first over from Wayne White.
But Abdul Razzaq and Rob Taylor turned the game round for the home side with some splendid seam bowling as Derbyshire were limited to 72 for six in reply. Razzaq took 3-20 in two overs and Taylor claimed 2-7.
The game finally went ahead after three inspections by umpires Neil Bainton and Nigel Cowley, and the Foxes lost Razzaq to the fourth ball of the first over when he drove a catch to cover off Jonathan Clare.
Josh Cobb, having hit two cracking boundaries, was run out by a superb throw from Wes Durston and, at 19 for two inside three overs, the hosts looked in trouble.
But Smith and Matt Boyce put on 37 in the next four overs before Rana Naved-ul-Hasan ended Smith’s enterprising knock with a delivery that knocked back the middle stump.
However, the Pakistan seamer also bowled three costly no-balls, with Boyce benefiting off one of them when he skied a catch to cover.
Boyce and White added another 24 quickfire runs in the last two overs to set the Falcons a victory target of 81.
Derbyshire looked well on course when they were 23 for two off two overs but, in the gathering gloom, lost wickets as the innings stalled.
Razzaq bowled Rana and Ross Whiteley in his first over before Taylor had Usman Khawaja and Durston caught in his second over.
Although White conceded another 21 runs off the penultimate over of the innings, Razzaq returned to bowl the last six balls and picked up the wicket of Wayne Madsen as the visitors fell short.