Styris still has what it takes
Leicestershire 197 for 4 (Styris 63, Cobb 38) beat Derbyshire 170 for 7 (North 90, Buck 3-26) by 27 runs
Leicestershire made a winning start to their NatWest T20 Blast campaign on Friday as a half-century from Scott Styris helped them to a 27-run victory over Derbyshire at Grace Road.
The three-time winners, inserted by their opponents, recovered from the early loss of Niall O'Brien to post 197 for 4 in their 20 overs.
Styris was the star of the show, with an unbeaten knock of 63 off 31 balls that included seven fours and three sixes, while there were also important contributions from captain Josh Cobb (38), Greg Smith (35) and Ned Eckersley (33).
Marcus North then starred for Derbyshire posting 90 off 47 balls, in which he struck consecutive sixes three times and also hit six fours, but it was not enough as the visitors ended up on 170 for 7.
Things had begun in concerning fashion for Leicestershire, just the second ball of the match seeing Niall O'Brien go for a golden duck, caught by Tim Groenewald off Mark Footitt.
But after that, they soon got into their stride as Cobb - who struck three sixes - and Smith produced a fine array of shots to put on a second-wicket stand of 69.
Cobb then fell victim to Wes Durston, stumped by Gareth Cross but the Foxes continued to make decent progress before Smith looped a Chesney Hughes delivery to Shivnarine Chanderpaul.
It was at that point that Styris entered the fray and he lost his partner in the 16th over, Eckersley caught at mid-off by Durston off the bowling of Jonathan Clare.
Styris and Tom Wells (13 not out) then saw out the remaining overs unscathed.
It was not long before Derbyshire's reply was in trouble, Nathan Buck making the breakthrough in the third over by sending Hughes' (seven) middle stump cartwheeling.
Buck soon had his second wicket as O'Brien caught Stephen Moore (24) and Chanderpaul was gone for a duck in the following over, bowled by Anthony Ireland.
Derbyshire then stabilised a little, North and Durston (28) putting on 70 for the fourth wicket, before the latter was dismissed by a superb one-handed diving catch by Cobb off Buck, who finished with 3 for 26.
Cross (two) was then caught on the boundary by Rob Taylor off Jigar Naik, but North kept going and appeared set for a possible one-man rescue job until he was bowled by Ireland in the 18th over with Derbyshire on 153.
Groenewald was subsequently run out by Cobb in the final over as Leicestershire saw out the win.