Levi heaves Northants to victory
Northamptonshire 192 for 6 (Levi 69, Wainwright 3-26) beat Derbyshire 191 for 6 (Cross 48, Crook 3-40) by four wickets
Northamptonshire kept their slim hopes of reaching the Natwest T20 Blast quarter-finals alive with a four-wicket defeat of Derbyshire at the County Ground.
Chasing the visitors' 191 for 6, the hosts reached the target in relative comfort with four balls remaining. Wins for Warwickshire and Yorkshire mean that they will probably need to win all of their three remaining matches but all that could be asked was that they finished the evening still in contention and that aim has been achieved.
Having been put in, the visitors recovered strongly from the early loss of Chesney Hughes and by the end of the Powerplay had reached 54 for 1.
That was down to Marcus North and Gareth Cross whose contrasting styles complemented each other nicely and the pair motored along at eight an over without too much fuss. Cross was the more dominant, and unorthodox, of the two and he got to within two of his half-century before picking out cover off Steven Crook.
His dismissal came three overs after North had top edged a sweep from James Middlebrook to deep midwicket and arrived just after three figures had been posted.
Wayne Madsen followed him back to the pavilion in the same Crook over and these two dismissals put a brake of things for a short while. But once Alex Hughes had provided Crook with his third wicket of the evening, Tom Knight took over.
From only 18 deliveries, he hammered 44 with 30 of those coming from five blows as 63 was plundered from the final four overs to turn what looked like being a par score into a formidable 191 for 6.
Northamptonshire's reply opened briskly as Richard Levi, after a sequence of three runs in his last four innings, began with a glut of boundaries and when the fielding restrictions ended, the score, albeit without the loss of any wickets, was identical.
David Willey was struggling with his timing at one end but it did not matter as Levi carried him along in his wake on the way to a 28-ball 50. His evening's work concluded as he found deep midwicket off David Wainwright for 69 and his departure gave the chase a different complexion manifested itself in the dismissals of Kyle Coetzer and Crook in the next couple of overs.
While Willey was at the crease the hosts would have fancied their chances but the odds lengthened when, the ball after hoisting Wainwright for a massive six, he mishit to the leg-side boundary.
Fifty-seven were needed from the final five overs but Adam Rossington quickly rounded this down with a mix of baseball-esque hitting and more orthodox fare.
Both he and Ben Duckett fell in the 19th over bowled by Greg Cork but Graeme White hit his first two balls over the ropes to wrap things up.