Derbyshire 163-6 (C. Hughes 59, Godleman 38 not)
Leicestershire 164-3 (O'Brien 47 not)
Leicestershire won by seven wickets
I wrote last night that Derbyshire should win this game and for once, by the end of the Power play it looked like we might set a total that would enable us to do just that.
58-1 from six overs should have been the foundations for a score of 180-200, which will win you eight out of ten matches in this format. Despite the loss of Hashim Amla, who has thus far been a major disappointment, we were well set, with Wes 'n' Ches going nicely.
Sadly, that was the point when once again the wheels came off. Inside 21 balls we were 77-5, thus replicating events at Headingley last week and the impetus was gone. Well though Chesney and Billy Godleman battled to get the innings back on track, only 19 came from the last three overs and 163, against a side with some good batsmen, never looked enough, as I posted on Twitter at the interval between innings.
I'd have preferred to have been wrong, but the home side always looked in control and we didn't have enough runs to leave them needing to take risks. It was a defeat - and not an easy one to take.
It is hard to get away from the fact that it will be another long, hard T20 campaign. I was happy to write off last week against a good Yorkshire side, but will take some convincing that this is a strong Leicestershire team. By extension, this was a bad game to lose.
It is a young side, lacking players who would be certainties for inclusion were they fit and there is much work to do to make it a competitive one in this format. It is frustrating that a side that plays excellent cricket in the four-day game looks like a fish out of water in T20. Yet until we can lose a wicket and rebuild with intelligence, composure and skill, we won't win matches.
There were forty dot balls tonight in our innings, or almost seven overs. Leicestershire had thirty in their innings and on such detail are games won and lost in this unforgiving format. Chesney Hughes said after the game that we are close to a winning formula, but for me there are several things we need to change:
1 Fine bowler as he is, this is no competition for Mark Footitt. At his pace, edges and mishits are going for four and we simply cannot afford ten an over with our fragile batting.
2 We need to include Alex Hughes, who offers something with bat and ball, as well as being brilliant in the field. It seems at the moment that he is the easy man to drop.
3 We need to give Tom Knight a go. One of the cleanest hitters in the club, he should be given an opportunity, whether he bowls or not. If he went early, he would do no worse than the current middle order.
4 We need Tillakaratne Dilshan to produce all-round form and Nathan Rimmington to get fit. Thus far we have had no overseas input and a team as young as ours needs someone to take a leading role.
We are really missing Wayne Madsen and Tony Palladino, while a fit and firing Wayne White, a proven player in this format, would make a difference too.
Sadly, that's a lot more than 'being close'.