Derbyshire 153-9 (Thakor 30, Neesham 29, Hughes (A) 23)
Yorkshire 67-3 in nine overs
Yorkshire won by one run (D/L)
Another defeat for Derbyshire, but another very good performance from a young team who made the home side work home for their eventual win. One run by Duckworth-Lewis; it was that close.
Three defeats in the T20 this year, but each has been within a hairsbreadth of victory. Last over at Northampton, last ball against Warwickshire, one run against Yorkshire. There will be ultimate disappointment, but no disgrace in losing so narrowly to such a strong side. If you look at that Yorkshire side, they would probably fancy their chances against most international teams.
In the continued absence of Wes Durston, we again struggled through the Powerplay, but there was a better look to this side. We had the extra bowler and it enabled Broom and Rutherford to open together - not successful tonight, but you want your better batsmen in early. It also allowed Shiv Thakor in at four, a sensible use of a batsman in prime form.
Shiv, Jimmy Neesham and Alex Hughes all played good hands down the order, although 153 was always going to be a struggle to defend. Losing the toss again was crucial, but the bowlers set about their task well.
Led, it has to be said, by Wayne Madsen. I had said pre-season that we didn't use his spin option enough and he's had more bowling this year. Three overs for 17 was a fine effort and included the wicket of David Willey.
Matt Critchley also bowled two fine overs for just 13 and the wicket of Lyth, while skipper Alex Hughes bowled just one over for three runs and effected a brilliant run out of Kane Williamson, to end a brief partnership where the second and fourth-ranked batsmen in world cricket were batting together.
At 67-3 from nine overs, Yorkshire were one run ahead and had their England men, Joe Root and Jonathan Bairstow together, with Ballance in at six. That's an all-international top order, but they far from had the game their own way.
Chris Grant sent out a tweet this afternoon, re-tweeting from the Yorkshire chairman Steve Denison that Dickie Bird had predicted Yorkshire 'knocking them off in 15 overs'. It came with the hashtag 'confidence'. I'd replace that with #arrogance, because they would have won, but nowhere near that easily. Win with grace, lose with dignity - that's always been my maxim and sadly not one that some teams adhere to.
In closing, it was good to see Azeem Rafiq back in cricket today. We had him on loan at Derbyshire two or three years back, but my understanding is that he 'lost it' for a while and had the dreaded 'yips'. Good to see a fine cricketer back, still young enough to make an impact on the game.
And as I am on an airport run to pick up my son tonight, there's just time to acknowledge an unchanged Derbyshire squad from that which played Sussex last time out, for the four-day game at Derby, starting tomorrow. That squad:
Worcestershire's squad sees Mark Fell return from his battle with testicular cancer and it is great to see the lad back in the game. I wish him well - though not TOO well!
Mitchell, D’Oliveira, Clarke, Fell, Kervezee, Kohler-Cadmore, Whiteley, Cox, Leach, Henry, Barnard, Shantry
Let's hope the encouraging form carries into the long format.
See you tomorrow.