New low for Northants as they are beaten by Derbyshire
Northants hit a new low as they suffered a 31-run defeat to previously winless Derbyshire Falcons in the Vitality Blast clash at the County Ground.
The Steelbacks shipped more than 200 runs for the third time in as many home T20 games this season as Calum MacLeod's 104 propelled the Falcons to 211 for two.And the hosts, who had won the toss, were never really in the game as their reply crumbled early on with Ben Duckett, Richard Levi, Kyle Coetzer and Josh Cobb all dismissed inside the first eight overs.
Northants were eventually all out for 180 in another hugely disappointing display that means they now need an incredible turnaround to make the quarter-finals of the Blast this season.They have lost all five of their North Group games, with the defeat to Derbyshire the most frustrating, especially as the Falcons had been beaten in all four of their matches prior to the County Ground clash.The Steelbacks had hoped that the arrival of another struggling side could help them to kick-start their chastening campaign.But Derbyshire got on top in the early overs as Billy Godleman showed his intent, hitting the first ball for four before continuing to take the pace bowlers to task.The Falcons had raced to 59 without loss at the end of the powerplay, piling pressure on a Steelbacks bowling attack that was desperately trying to build some momentum and belief.A wicket finally came in the seventh over as Godleman, on 29, lost his patience and picked out Steven Crook on the boundary off the bowling of Luke Procter.The Steelbacks almost had a second wicket when Ben Sanderson attempted a spectacular one-handed catch, but he was unable to take it, tipping the ball over the boundary for six.That was a let-off for big-hitting MacLeod, who was making his way towards the half-century mark in imposing fashion.The Falcons were 98 for one at the halfway stage and MacLeod was to reach his 50 in 33 balls with a tidy boundary off the bowling of Brett Hutton.Scotland star MacLeod was in fantastic form and the Steelbacks seemed to have no answer as the Falcons flew past 150 with five overs still to go.It wasn't long before MacLeod made his century, getting there from just 58 balls, as the Steelbacks continued to search for solutions.MacLeod did finally go for 104 when he skied a Rory Kleinveldt delivery and Alex Wakely took the catch.But the Falcons, who were now 188 for two, still had two overs to go.
Wayne Madsen finished with an unbeaten 50 and Northants had another huge task ahead as they sought to end their winless start.Levi and Duckett both hit boundaries early in the reply, but Duckett went for eight as he edged to slip from a 90mph delivery from Lockie Ferguson.Ferguson was in fine form and after Levi had threatened to get the Steelbacks charge going, the Falcons bowler struck again, bowling the big South African for 30.Coetzer's first appearance on his return to the County didn't last long as he went for a four-ball duck, dismissed by Hardus Viljoen.Things were going from bad to worse as Cobb sliced to cover for just 11 off the bowling of Alex Hughes.At 52 for four, the game was once again drifting away from the Steelbacks.Captain Alex Wakely was aiming to help his team rebuild, but he was bowled by Hughes for just 10 to leave the Steelbacks 72 for five.Crook was next to go, with Viljoen having him caught for 14, before Seekkuge Prasanna provided some fight, smashing three welcome boundaries from a costly Wahab Riaz over.It was never going to be enough though and Prasanna, who had made his way to a quickfire 29, lofted one up to give Hughes his third wicket.Kleinveldt then picked up where Prasanna had left off, blasting the ball to all parts to give the Steelbacks supporters something to shout about.But yet another Hughes slower ball did for the powerful all-rounder, who went for 36 from just 14 deliveries.Procter was next to go as he was caught on the boundary by Anuj Dal off Ravi Rampaul for 14.That left the Steelbacks needing 34 from the final over with just Hutton and Sanderson to call upon.But Sanderson was bowled by Riaz for one as the game ended with more misery for the Steelbacks.Steelbacks: Levi, Duckett (wk), Cobb, Coetzer, Wakely (c), Crook, Procter, Kleinveldt, Prasanna, Hutton, Sanderson.Derbyshire Falcons: Godleman, MacLeod, Madsen, Dal, Wilson (c, wk), Critchley, Hughes, Viljoen, Riaz, Ferguson, Rampaul.