Stylish Guptill entertains in victory
Derbyshire 235 for 4 beat Yorkshire 234 for 7 by six wickets
New Zealand opener Martin Guptill again turned on the style as Derbyshire crushed Yorkshire by six wickets in the Clydesdale Bank 40 at Queen's Park.
Guptill scored an unbeaten 103 off 83 balls to take the Falcons past Yorkshire's total of 234 for 7 with 38 balls to spare. Gary Ballance scored an unbeaten 81 off 65 balls and Jacques Rudolph made 75 but Guptill smashed four sixes to give the home side a convincing victory in front of a 3,000-plus crowd.
Rudolph had scored a century on this ground last season and he treated a big crowd to some sweetly-timed strokes, including a six over long on off Wes Durston in the second over.
Yorkshire raced to 56 off the first eight overs but once Derbyshire took the pace off the ball, the run rate dropped and wickets started to fall. Joe Sayers was caught behind down the legside off the first ball from Garry Park's medium pace and Adam Lyth was bowled by one that turned sharply from Greg Smith.
Anthony McGrath failed in his attempt to launch Smith over long on and at the halfway stage, Yorkshire had been restricted to 109. Rudolph hit seven fours on his way to a 46-ball fifty, but he scored only one more boundary before he tried to come down the pitch to England Under-19 spinner Tom Knight and was stumped.
When Gerard Brophy skied to mid off in the 34th over, Yorkshire were struggling to post a competitive total but Ballance changed that with a thrilling onslaught that broke Derbyshire's stranglehold.
He pulled Mark Footitt over deep square leg for six as 40 came from the batting power play and after surviving a missed stumping off Durston on 57, sent the next ball into the crowd at midwicket.
A Tim Groenewald full toss was dispatched for another six and with 52 coming from the last four overs, Yorkshire had a decent total although Guptill soon made it look inadequate.
He drove and pulled Oliver Hannon-Dalby for two sixes and although David Wainwright had Chesney Hughes caught at long on from his first ball, Yorkshire could not contain the Falcons.
Guptill late cut the spinner for his sixth four to reach 50 off only 34 balls and although Adil Rashid beat Durston's defensive push, it was not enough to stall the Falcons' victory charge.
Wayne Madsen drove Wainwright on to the roof of the radio tent and Guptill pulled the spinner out of the ground before Steve Patterson gave Yorkshire hope with two wickets in successive overs.
Madsen skied a pull to mid on and Smith was deceived by one that popped on him but Guptill and Ross Whiteley settled the contest with some muscular blows.