Derbyshire win despite McDonald fifty
Derbyshire 165 for 5 beat Leicestershire 154 for 8 by 11 runs
Steffan Jones earned career-best bowling figures as Derbyshire launched their Twenty2 cup bid with an 11-run win over Leicestershire. The 36-year-old Welsh seamer took 3 for 20 in his four overs to restrict Leicestershire to 154 for 8 as they failed to chase down a victory target of 166 at Grace Road.
Jones's victims included Australian allrounder Andrew McDonald, who hit a blistering 67 off 50 balls to keep Leicestershire in the chase after they had lost early wickets. Fellow Australian Brad Hodge, signed by the county as their second overseas player for the competition, went in the second over and then the home side collapsed from 41 for 1 to 64 for 4 in the space of four overs.
McDonald was in tremendous form reaching his half century off 37 balls with seven sweetly-struck boundaries and by the time he skied a catch to long on off the bowling of Jones, had reached a career-best score in Twenty20 cricket.
But his effort was not enough to give Leicestershire a winning start with a tough run of three successive away matches now to follow. Only Paul Nixon provided any real assistance to McDonald, scoring 24 before being caught off his trademark reverse sweep.
Derbyshire also struggled in the early part of their innings with only 23 runs coming off 10 scoring shots in the first six overs. Left-arm seamer Harry Gurney conceded only one run in his first two overs and in all there were a total of 25 dot balls.
But Derbyshire's innings gained momentum as Loots Bosman smashed 16 in an over off McDonald and Greg Smith hit a six off Claude Henderson. When Bosman cleared the ropes for a second time at the expense of Hodge the visitors had more than made up for their slow start.
Although Hodge gained his revenge by bowling Bosman for 39 the rest of the Derbyshire batsmen maintained the run rate and 101 runs were scored off the last 10 overs to post a challenging total which proved out of the home side's reach.