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Falcons stay in contention

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Wes Durston

Wes Durston top-scored with 64 and took two wickets in a 33-run win over Warwickshire that kept Derbyshire in with a chance of progressing

Derbyshire kept alive their hopes of reaching the Friends Life t20 quarter-finals by completing a double over fast-fading Warwickshire at Edgbaston.

The Falcons survived a bombardment from Varun Chopra - who smashed five fours and two sixes in his 17-ball dash to 40 - before strolling home by 33 runs in dismissing the home side for 129.

The match turned as soon as Chopra drove a catch to cover off the second delivery from Derbyshire’s veteran seamer Steffan Jones.

With rain threatening, the Bears tried to keep up with the Duckworth/Lewis target rate but their challenge disintegrated altogether as Derbyshire’s spin pair, Tom Knight and Greg Smith, shared four wickets in their eight overs.

Knight, 18, held a return catch from Rikki Clarke and completed another immaculate spell for a return of 3-19 before third spinner Wes Durston took two of the last three wickets to wrap up a fine all-round performance. He had earlier top-scored with 64 from 58 balls and also held two catches.

Derbyshire might have expected something larger than their eventual total of 162 for five after flying out of the blocks via Durston’s opening stand of 83 in 50 balls with big-hitting Martin Guptill.

New Zealand’s Guptill hoisted three sixes - planting Stefan Piolet’s first delivery on to the third tier of the new pavilion stand - before he was stumped for 38 off former Falcons spinner Ant Botha.

Piolet recovered from his poor start - his second ball also went to the boundary for four leg byes - and registered the best figures, taking 2-22 in four overs as Derbyshire dropped off the pace.

Durston stayed until the last ball, hitting seven fours before he was caught behind off Keith Barker.

The Bears welcomed back England seamer Chris Woakes after his release from the one-day squad, but he conceded 20 runs in two overs. He did not fare any better with the bat, making just a single from three balls before Luke Sutton stumped him on the leg-side for Knight’s second wicket.

Woakes’ inclusion in the county side meant that Neil Carter finally lost his record of appearing in every one of Warwickshire’s Twenty20 matches since the competition was launched in 2003.

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