Worcestershire bandwagon rolls on
Worcestershire 177 for 5 (Mitchell 68*, Munro 65) beat Derbyshire 169 for 8 (Madsen 65, Russell 4-40) by 8 runs
Daryl Mitchell and Colin Munro both struck half-centuries while Chris Russell kept his cool at the death as North Division pacesetters Worcestershire beat rock-bottom Derbyshire by eight runs in the NatWest T20 Blast.
In-form Worcestershire had a nightmare start to their innings, losing opener Richard Oliver for a duck to the third ball of the match, but captain Mitchell and New Zealand international Munro took the attack back to Derbyshire in style. Mitchell struck 68 not out off 51 balls and shared in a blistering 98-run stand with Munro (65 off 37) to help Worcestershire run up 177 for 5 off their 20 overs.
That was Worcestershire's second highest score of this season's competition and it proved just enough to earn them a fifth win in seven games - although it was perhaps closer than they would have liked in the end.
Derbyshire, with just one point from five games, looked to be favourites as skipper Wayne Madsen and Marcus North took them up to 160 for 4 with a stand of 75 in eight overs. That left the hosts needing 18 off the final 10 balls with two settled batsmen at the crease and plenty of wickets in hand.
However, the dismissal of Madsen, caught by Munro off the bowling of Jack Shantry (3 for 34), pegged Derbyshire back and they were left needing 15 runs off the last over from Russell to claim the win.
That was still possible, especially when North struck the second ball for four, but the 25-year-old did not panic and he got his revenge off the next ball as he snared the experienced Australian caught and bowled. Russell then finished the job by bowling Scott Elstone and Tony Palladino with the final two deliveries of the match to finish with figures of 4 for 40.