Derbyshire seamers boost quarter-final hopes
Derbyshire 159 for 4 (Durston 80) beat Leicestershire 156 (A Hughes 3-31) six wickets
Derbyshire boosted their quarter-final hopes by thrashing local rivals Leicestershire by six wickets in a one-sided Royal London Cup Group A match at Derby.
The Foxes were shot out for just 156 in 41 overs with Alex Hughes claiming one-day best figures of 3 for 31 and Shiv Thakor taking 2 for 28 against his former county.
Wes Durston followed his century against Surrey on Sunday with 80 from 65 balls and, although Tillakaratne Dilshan went first ball on his Derbyshire return, the Falcons got to 159 for 4 with 19.1 overs to spare.
Thakor justified Derbyshire's decision to bowl when he removed both openers in consecutive overs with Angus Robson playing on as he tried to run the ball to third man and Mark Cosgrove caught behind off an expansive drive.
Ned Eckersley and Aadil Ali were starting to rebuild when two more wickets in quick succession put the Falcons firmly in charge. Ali chopped Greg Cork into his stumps and Eckersley was caught by Wayne Madsen leaping at extra cover when he sliced a drive at Hughes.
At 64 for 4, the Foxes were facing another batting crisis and their chances of making a competitive total were dealt a double blow in the 28th over. Michael Burgess tried to cut Hughes but edged it onto his stumps and Rob Sayer mistimed a drive and looped a simple catch to gully.
The last thing Leicestershire needed was a run out but that is exactly what happened when Ben Raine pushed the ball into the covers and set off for a single that was never there and was stranded by Scott Elstone's return.
When Niall O'Brien, who top-scored with 32, tried to steer Ben Cotton to third man and was caught behind off the last ball of the 37th over, the innings was beyond repair and the Foxes were in danger of being bowled out for under 150 when Clint McKay missed a pull at Matt Critchley.
Rob Taylor at least spared his side that ignominy when he launched Cork over long on for six but the innings ended when Atif Sheikh was lbw with nine overs remaining.
It had been a lamentable display with all of the top order getting into double figures but failing to adjust to the demands of a slow surface and Leicestershire's only hope was to take early wickets.
When the first ball from Sheikh whistled down the leg side for five wides, the signs were not encouraging and the Foxes best chance of avoiding a fourth defeat was rain which arrived with the Falcons 24 without loss.
But it only delayed the game for 27 minutes and on the resumption, Durston engaged the turbo by driving and cutting Sheikh for four before pulling the former Derbyshire seamer behind square for six. After another sharp shower, Durston reached a 35-ball 50 by sweeping Sayer for six.
Taylor bowled Billy Godleman and Dilshan with consecutive balls, McKay trapped Madsen lbw and Durston carved Sheikh to third man with 15 needed but it was not enough to save Leicestershire.