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June 15, 2011
Worcestershire 121 for 7 beat Derbyshire 106 by 15 runs
Chris Whelan returned his best competition figures to set up an unlikely 15-run victory for Worcestershire against Derbyshire in the Friends Life t20 match under the Derby floodlights. Whelan took 4 for 21 as the Falcons collapsed to 106 all out in the final over, chasing the Royals' modest 121 for 7 .
Derbyshire looked favourites after 17-year-old slow left-arm spinner Tom Knight exploited a slow turning pitch to take 3 for 4 in 10 balls. The Royals hit only eight boundaries in their 20 overs but the home side also struggled and crashed to 79 for 8 before some defiant blows from Steffan Jones at least took them to three figures.
Jones had conceded five wides off successive balls in the opening over but the Falcons quickly recovered to squeeze the life out of the innings Moeen Ali fell to a desperate swing after scoring four off 17 balls and, although Alexei Kervezee began briskly, he became Knight's first victim when he sliced to short third man Jonathan Clare on 14 and the teenager stuck another big blow when Shakib Al Hasan top-edged a sweep to Wes Durston.
Knight snared his second victim in the over when he beat Vikram Solanki's attempted cut and he departed for 28. Worcestershire's hopes of breaking the stranglehold took another knock when Gareth Andrew drove a return catch back to Durston.
When James Cameron straight drove Durston for six, it was the first boundary in 10 overs but he was run out off the next ball for 17 and only some improvised shots by Ben Scott took the total past 120. But if the home crowd thought the Falcons would coast to their modest target, they were in for a shock as Derbyshire also found it hard to get the ball away.
Martin Guptill clipped Andrew to Kervezee at deep square-leg in the second over and Shakib found some sharp turn to bowl Durston for 9 in the fifth. When Wayne Madsen played back to Moeen and was trapped in front, the Falcons were 27 for 3 and Garry Park's attempts to advance from his score of three failed when his sweep off Moeen landed in the hands of Andrew at deep square-leg.
Derbyshire were sliding to defeat when Luke Sutton was run out by Daryl Mitchell's throw and Chesney Hughesedged behind to Scott off Whelan. Jones - run out by Mitchell on 24 - went down swinging, but it was a poor night for the home side in front of decent crowd and the television cameras.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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Would he have fared better than the incumbent middle-order batsmen, Root and Ballance?