If you look in a thesaurus under the word “restricted” it says curbed, suppressed, impeded and chained, after today it should also have the phrase “Derbyshire Falcons vs Leicestershire Foxes Natwest T20 30th July 2017.” It may not be catchy or drip off the tongue, but it is accurate, with Gary Wilson’s men restricting the Foxes to just 104 for 9 off their full twenty overs.
The day started well for Wilson as he won the toss and opted to bowl first, on a pitch which was offering something for the bowlers and proved difficult for the Foxes batsmen to get away and score their runs throughout the innings.
The innings saw Leicestershire fail to score a boundary between the fourth ball of the 10th over and the first ball of the 20th. This period also saw the loss of six wickets for just 46 runs in one of the most complete bowling and fielding displays possible. Every bowler contributed to the supressed nature of the innings, sharing the wickets out, but the stand out figures went to overseas star Matt Henry who finished his four overs with figures of 3 for 18.
Equally as impressive as the bowling display was the fielding which was crisp and precise amongst all the Falcon’s fielders, but Alex Hughes was superb taking three catches and saving a number of runs in the field with his aggressive and athletic out fielding.
Leicestershire’s batsmen had to try and force the pace throughout and a great number fell trying to do this, none more so that big hitting Mark Cosgrove who was run out by Matt Critchley looking for a run which simply wasn’t there.
When the Foxes look at the scorecard at the end of the day, missing runs will be what sticks out to them as they posted their lowest total vs Derbyshire in T20 cricket, a total which was never going to be enough to trouble a Falcons batting line up which has fired more often than not this season in the Blast.
The Falcons did however look in a little bit of trouble at 21 for 3 half way through the third over, and Critchley also back in the pavilion retired hurt after being struck on the helmet by a Dieter Klein bouncer. This however brought together Wayne Madsen, this season’s stand out batsmen for the Falcons and Hughes to the crease who put together an unbeaten stand of 86 to guide the Falcons home in 13.5 overs. Madsen agonisingly finished on 49, one run short of becoming the first Derbyshire batsman to score four half centuries in a T20 season.
The most striking difference in the two innings was the ease of which Madsen and Hughes found the boundary and were able to keep the score ticking over, with the pair only failing to find the boundary in three of the ten overs they were together for, which put the game out of the reach of the Leicestershire foxes. Both struck the ball beautifully, Hughes striking a glorious straight six off Gavin Griffiths and Madsen playing two delightful ramp shots over the keeper, one of which to bring up the victory.
This defeat leaves the foxes without a win in their last four games and still lying in sixth place in the table, while Derbyshire find themselves in second place on 11 points and dreaming of a quarter final place for the first time since 2005. Next up for the Foxes is the visit of the Notts Outlaws to the Fischer County Ground, not the best side to face when you are looking for your first win in five, while Derbyshire will travel to Headingley for a top of the table clash looking to cement their place in the top two and a home quarter final.