The Vikings put on a slightly average total and the Falcons sat right on the target throughout much of the chase, nosing ahead from the halfway point, but ultimately it was Yorkshire who took the victory. Thanks to some excellent bowling at the death, the visitors snuck through by just one run to find themselves in fifth place on the North group table.
In what was tipped to be a reduced match, there was in fact a full quota of overs played on a warm and mostly dry day at Derby. Around three and a half thousand fans journeyed to the ground, many travelling further than expected as the game was meant to be played at Chesterfield.
The expected rain, that no doubt played a part in Derbyshire putting the visitors in to bat first, considerately appeared only in the innings break. The only side effect was a slightly late start to the Falcons’ reply, but with no overs lost.
The solid beginnings of Adam Lyth and David Willey saw the Vikings reach 46 before Lyth had to head back to the dugout, caught by Matt Critchley off the bowling of Andy Carter.
Alex Lees followed quickly but Willey and new partner Kane Williamson put on a fine partnership of 32, taking the visitors to 80-3, when Willey was caught behind for 33.
Jack Leaning and Will Rhodes were soon back in the dugout with Willey, but Williamson carried on plundering the Derbyshire bowlers until he, too, had to go, ending his 48 runs partnership with Tim Bresnan.
Williamson’s excellent 65 runs came off just 45 balls and consisted off six fours and two maximums. His wicket left Yorkshire on 149-6 with just an over and bit to go.
Bresnan and Liam Plunkett’s contributions took the side to a fairly average 167 but, with a bowling reply that strongly resembled their Friday night antics against Birmingham, the Vikings allowed Derbyshire think they were home safe and then plundered them in the final two overs.
Wes Durston fell early in the Falcons’ chase but Hamish Rutherford was once again the stalwart of the innings, and he and fellow Kiwi Neil Broom took them to 80 before Rutherford was stumped by Andy Hodd and became one of Adil Rashid’s three scalps of the day.
Broom added 37 runs and the powerful and visibly determined Chesney Hughes, who sent Bresnan for two big sixes in the 17th over, added 35 before he had to head back to the dugout, after hitting Willey high and being caught at cover.
Having been neck and neck and then just ahead for the bulk of the innings, the Falcons were well within their rights to be content.
The wicket of Hughes, however, marked the beginning of a collapse that cost the hosts a much needed victory, losing 4 wickets for the cost of just 8 runs and finishing with 165 at the end of 20 overs – one run shy of their victors’ total.
Derbyshire head coach John Sadler admitted a second narrow T20 defeat to Yorkshire was hard to take.
“It’s very tough to take, it’s a fickle game and that’s three games we’ve lost now by one run. It’s why we love T20 but it’s also frustrating at times when you are on the wrong end.
“I thought we didn’t quite possibly execute our plans as well as we normally can, that might have saved us half a dozen runs which can ultimately win you the game but I thought they played their innings well and Kane Williamson is a world-class player and it comes down to fine margins.
“I thought we paced our innings well and played it right and we had a good over with Chesney (Hughes) hitting a couple of boundaries in an over but we just didn’t quite get over the line.”