Wayne Madsen’s 28-ball 50 brought Derbyshire home in a superb chase of 181 to beat Northamptonshire by six wickets with two overs to spare at Wantage Road. It was Derbyshire’s highest total of the season so far and earned them a second win in this season’s Vitality Blast.
Madsen arrived after Luis Reece had given Derbyshire’s pursuit an excellent start and immediately looked in good touch. He swept Josh Cobb’s off-spin powerfully for four before flicking and pulling two boundaries off Dwaine Pretorius.
56 were needed from six overs and Madsen, via two fielding errors, took Nathan Buck for three consecutive boundaries.
He lifted Ben Sanderson down the ground for six to raise a half-century and slashed Faheem Ashraf for four wide of third man and finished with 51 in 31 balls.
Reece had laid the platform. He pulled and then cut Matt Coles for boundaries at the start of the third over before whipping Pretorius for two sixes over midwicket in the fifth as Derbyshire made 52 without loss in the Powerplay.
The opening stand took Derbyshire to 63 in the eighth over before Billy Godleman’s rather torturous 20-ball stay ended as he swept at Cobb’s off-spin and missed. Reece then lofted Graeme White to deep midwicket to fall for 60 as momentum swung back to Northants, only for Madsen to haul it back Derbyshire’s way. Alex Hughes’ slightly fortunate 21 in 7 balls completed the job.
Northants slumped to a third defeat despite Cobb’s fine captain’s innings setting his side up for their highest T20 total so far this season.
Cobb began by slicing a catch to backward-point at the start of the fourth over, only for Boyd Rankin to overstep. He miscued the free-hit over mid-off for two but found his touch in the fifth over that he took for 13 runs including a clean blow over the long-off fence. He struck a second six straight over Matt Critchley’s head in the ninth over and added a third, again over long-off, against Mark Watt to leave Northants 80 for 1 at half-way.
Cobb’s fourth six was a giant pull over deep-square as Rankin returned and he reached an 18th T20 half-century, and first this summer, in 34 balls. He then slog-swept Alex Hughes narrowly over deep-square and lifted Watt twice into the Wilson stand for sixes. But trying to swing away Ravi Rampual in the 17th over, found long-on after equalling his second-highest T20 score.
Cobb shared 103 for the second wicket with Adam Rossington in 10.5 overs. Rossington pulled the opening boundary off Rankin in the second over before driving a second four through cover. In the final over of the Powerplay he lifted Fynn Hudson-Prentice over mid-on and then point for boundaries but his third in the over came via a slice of luck, edging a swing past short-third man.
It pushed Northants to 50 for 1 after six overs - their most productive start to an innings in this season’s Blast. When Rossington fell, for 50 in 34 balls to a splendid return catch by Hughes, his side were well placed at 115 for 2 after 13 overs.
Alex Wakely arrived to drill Watt down the ground for four, slam Hudson-Prentice over his head for six and pull Rankin backward of deep square in making 27 in 18 balls before being well held at mid-off in the final over. Coles then played a reverse-paddle sweep over short-third man for four as Northants reached 180 but it proved light.