Napier, Essex come crashing down
Derbyshire 321 for 5 (Chanderpaul 85*, Durston 71) beat Essex 258 (Pettini 88, Footitt 3-40) by 63 runs
Essex came crashing down to earth after a run of four consecutive Yorkshire Bank 40 victories as Derbyshire romped to a 63-run win with 41 balls to spare in a record-breaking Group B match at Leek.
Derbyshire's total of 321 for 5 was their best ever in a 40-over game and was the highest score Essex had conceded in one-day cricket.
Shivnarine Chanderpaul made an unbeaten 85, Wes Durston hammered 71 from 46 balls and 21-year-old Staffordshire-born allrounder Alex Hughes made his first senior half century with 59 not out from 36 balls.
Mark Pettini replied with 88 from 68 balls but Essex came up well short when they were bowled out for 258 in a game which contained 20 sixes with Hughes taking 3 for 56.
Derbyshire's batsmen turned up the heat in the Staffordshire sunshine from the start with Chesney Hughes hitting the opening three deliveries from Tim Phillips for four. Although David Masters trapped him lbw in the third over, Durston drove the seamer for two sixes and pulled Sajid Mahmood for another six as he raced to a 34 ball fifty which also contained seven fours.
The 100 came up in the 12th over and, although Durston was bowled trying to pull Mahmood, Chanderpaul and Wayne Madsen kept Derbyshire on course for a big total by adding 78 in 10 overs.
Chanderpaul straight drove Phillips for six and pulled a Tom Westley full toss for another and although Madsen got a leading edge to mid-off after a run a ball 33, Hughes launched an explosive assault on the Essex bowlers in the last 10 overs.
He pulled and drove Masters for two sixes and two fours in an over which cost 21 on his way to a 32 ball half-century and he ended the innings by driving Graham Napier over long-off and into the trees for his third six.
It left Napier with bruised figures of 1 for 76 from eight overs, his most expensive for Essex, five days after his 7 for 32 and four wickets in four balls against Surrey.
It was an impressive display of controlled hitting from Hughes whose stand with Chanderpaul was worth 102 in 10 overs and left Essex chasing a formidable target, even on a small ground. Hamish Rutherford launched the chase by driving Durston for six but the New Zealand opener was caught behind trying to cut Mark Turner and Westley chipped the paceman to midwicket in his next over.
Pettini was dropped by wicketkeeper Richard Johnson on 18 and he and Owais Shah took the score to 101 before Tim Groenewald had Shah lbw for 24 in the 15th over.
He struck an even bigger blow in his next over when Ryan ten Doeschate played across the line and was lbw for 6 and when James Foster was caught a long leg, Essex were 130 for 5.
Napier threatened to turn the game with four sixes in his 16 ball 38 until he carved Mark Footitt to mid-off and after, Pettini drove Alex Hughes to mid-off as well, it was left to Phillips to strike some defiant blows before Hughes rounded off a memorable day by claiming the last wicket.