Derbyshire produced an expert chase, thanks largely to Billy Godleman (70) and Wayne Madsen (58*), as the Falcons joined Leicestershire at the top of the table. In their third win from four, the visitors cruised home by seven wickets and ten balls to spare, as the pair made a mockery of Worcestershire’s total of 186-5.
With the Kia Oval sold out on Wednesday night boasting the likes of Kevin Pietersen, Jason Roy, and Mohammad Amir, New Road was a much more secluded affair. Both matches can be appreciated for their worth, but it is clear to see which match fits the ECB’s plans for a ‘franchise style’ tournament – the Oval’s superior capacity a mitigating factor.
Joe Clarke will reach the heights of Jason Roy and co one day, and it is clear to see why after the 21-year-old gave his side plenty of momentum in the powerplay during an 18-ball 42 – including six fours and two sixes.
Worcestershire emerged from the powerplay having lost both openers, but with 58 runs on the board.
The scoring remained steady from the next few overs, largely due to the introduction of Imran Tahir (4-0-27-1). The leg-spinner bowled his first three overs for just 11 runs, including eight dot balls, picking up the wicket of Mitchell Santner. But Ross Whiteley (38) bravely attacked Tahir’s last over, and was rewarded with 16 off it.
Whiteley, alongside Cox (40*), combined in an excellent partnership of 57 in just 6.3 overs. With Whiteley out in the last over, John Hastings finished the innings superbly, nonchalantly hitting 16 off the final three balls to take Worcestershire to a competitive score of 186-5.
Matt Critchley (31) ensured his side was ahead of the rate from the off, as he shared in a partnership of 64 inside the first six overs.
After Reece came and went for nine, Godleman and Madsen complemented each other perfectly during a partnership of 93 inside ten overs. Godleman regularly punched straight down the ground, taking the aerial route on numerous occasions. Madsen, on the other hand, swept and reverse-swept to give Joe Leach a major headache regarding field placings.
Worcestershire could have had a sniff in the 14th over, if they had dismissed Madsen by holding onto a sharp chance at mid-off. Although Godleman was stumped off Santner (4-0-27-2) in the 17th, he had done enough to see his side home.
Derbyshire continue their excellent start to this year’s blast, while Worcestershire are still searching for their first win after a third loss from three.