Lancashire 127-9 (Davies 41, White 3-21, Palladino 2-22, Cotton 2-26)
Derbyshire 128-5 (Amla 51, Dilshan 38)
Derbyshire won by 5 wickets
For all the protestations in some quarters of non-attendance because of our form, as well as the presence of Sky cameras, a good-sized crowd attended the 3aaa County Ground tonight.
And heavens to betsy, didn't we turn in a fine performance?
In the past couple of weeks I have excused defeats because of a lack of experience and there has been negativity in some quarters, the rationale of their counter-argument being that younger players needed to take responsibility. and justify their places. I disagreed then and do now. Young players will come on in their own time as they get to know their games. As supporters we must enjoy their successes, share their own frustration in failure and watch their gradual, but definite development.
Tonight we saw the benefit of experience. Tony Palladino and Wayne White were back and offered much to the bowling. Tillakaratne Dilshan's bowling was clever and added much-needed and economical variety, while youngsters Ben Cotton and Shiv Thakor bowled with common sense and considerable skill.
We had our traditional wobble as the finishing line approached, largely down to the quest to do so quickly, but it didn't matter too much by that stage. That was because Dilshan and Hashim Amla led off with a stand of 93 that largely rendered us collapse-proof.
The return and introduction of such players would improve any team, but there was a vigour, passion and commitment of the whole team in the field. The ground fielding was excellent, the catching sound (Amla's boundary catch a highlight) and the throwing swift and accurate. Dilshan's reputation at point is undimmed at 38, while his tight spell showed his all-round value.
I was impressed by all the bowlers. Tony Palladino bowled straight and varied his pace, while the return of Wayne White added one-day nous with the ball, as it would have added depth to the batting had he been required. Best of all, perhaps, was Ben Cotton, whose ability to fire the ball into the block hole was as striking as the extra pace he has gained from last season.
Then came the big cheeses. Whatever other memories we hold of this season in years to come, watching Amla and Dilshan walk out to open our batting will be a lasting one. In his last appearance, Amla made a sparkling fifty, reaching it with an extraordinary, one-handed flick off his legs for six. He may not have been at his most dominant in our colours, but hearing Graeme Welch talk of his influence was telling.
In his first appearance, Dilshan was impressive, if understandably a tad rusty. Not everything came off the middle, but enough did to suggest he will be an asset when he gets his land legs and some Derbyshire air in his lungs.
There were some undignified, bucolic swipes after the Lord Mayor's show, more suited to the village green than the County Ground, but tonight was one for celebration.
The first win of the season and, to boot, one that hinted it may not be the last. Add Nathan Rimmington to the attack and Wayne Madsen to the batting and we could get a respectable placing in the group. I'll not suggest we are now going to take it by storm, but there were indicators tonight that we are mastering some of the main disciplines of T20 cricket.
If we have learned from the way that Amla and Dilshan milked the bowling around for singles when there was nothing else there, the future may contain more wins than the recent past.
More from me tomorrow.
Postscript - good to hear Tom Poynton behind the stumps again tonight, keeping the field on their toes and producing excellent glove work. As indeed did his counterpart for Lancashire, Alex Davies, who looks a fine prospect.
Anyone else think he looks like Chris Read of Nottinghamshire?