Bell steers Warwickshire home
Warwickshire 123 for 7 beat Derbyshire 120 for 4 by three wickets
England batsman Ian Bell steered the Warwickshire Bears to a tense three wicket victory over the Derbyshire Falcons in a low scoring Friends Provident t20 game at Derby. Despite Bell's 66 off 56 balls the Bears stumbled chasing the Falcons' 120 for 4 on a damp, misty night, and there were only four balls to spare when Chris Woakes struck the winning runs.
Woakes had earlier conceded only nine runs in his four overs as the Falcons found scoring difficult on a sluggish surface and they needed a late surge from Robin Peterson, who was unbeaten on 35 from 27 balls, to give them a shot at defending their total.
Derbyshire were looking for another explosive innings from Loots Bosman but the South African was bowled first ball by Woakes in the first over and the batsmen struggled all night to get the ball away on a slow, low pitch. Chesney Hughes, dropped at deep midwicket on 13, was in for nine overs for his 24, and at the half-way stage of the innings the home side were 47 for 3.
Tight bowling and sharp fielding from the Bears kept the brakes on until the 15th over when Peterson launched Darren Maddy over long on for the first six of the night. Greg Smith repeated the shot as 18 came from the over, the most expensive of the innings, but his dismissal for 38 in the next over pegged Derbyshire back again, although Peterson's late charge gave the bowlers something to defend.
The South African reverse swept Ant Botha for six and four as 17 came from the last over, and those runs looked increasingly valuable when the Bears lost Jonathan Trott to the third ball of their reply. The England batsman lofted Steffan Jones to third man and when Neil Carter got a leading edge to extra cover, the visitors were 4 for 2.
Bell drove Tim Groenewald for two successive fours but the former Warwickshire seamer had Jim Troughton caught at mid-off for two trying to hit over the top. At 25 for 3, the Falcons were well in the game but Bell and Darren Maddy put the visitors back on course with a stand of 58 in eight overs.
Bell was dropped by wicketkeeper Lee Goddard off Garry Park on 41 with the score on 56, and he looked like taking the Bears to victory before a late wobble gave the game a final twist.
Maddy clipped Smith to mid on, Bell skied a slog-sweep at the off-spinner and former Derbyshire skipper Rikki Clarke was yorked by Jones to leave the Bears needing 16 off the last three overs. When Ian Westood was unluckily run out for 12 the game was back in the balance, but Woakes hit Smith over the top to seal the Bears second win and send the Falcons crashing to their first defeat.