Derbyshire win despite allround Ali
Derbyshire 128 for 4 beat Worcestershire 127 for 7 by six wickets
Worcestershire's losing streak in the Twenty20 Cup continued with a fifth straight defeat as Derbyshire won by six wickets to move into the top three of the North Group. Moeen Ali did his best to halt the slide with 67 off 52 balls out of the Royals 127 for 7 and then took 2 for 14 from his four overs to make the Falcons sweat under the County Ground floodlights.
But Garry Park hit an unbeaten 41 from 40 balls and shared a stand of 64 in 10 overs with Robin Peterson to see the Falcons to 128 for 4 with four balls left. The result means Worcestershire have now lost 35 games in the competition, more than any other team in the eight-year history of domestic Twenty20 cricket.
The signs were ominous for the Royals after they were put in and Phil Jaques chopped the first ball of the match from Charl Langeveldt onto his stumps. Sanath Jayasuriya also failed, scooping Tim Groenewald to mid on for nine in the fourth over and a great reaction return catch by Wes Durston cut short a blossoming innings from Alexei Kervezee.
After 10 overs, the Royals were struggling at 59 for 3 and only Moeen came to terms with another slow Derby pitch to at least give his bowlers something to defend. Daryl Mitchell was lbw playing across the line at Peterson and when James Cameron sliced Durston to backward point in the 15th over, the visitors were still well short of a challenging total on 83 for 5.
But Jack Manuel drove Greg Smith for the only six of the innings - which also included only eight fours - in the next over and helped Moeen add 40 before Steffan Jones speared one in to trap Moeen lbw in the 19th over. Gareth Andrew came in but failed to give the innings a final flourish and was bowled for a duck swinging wildly at Langeveldt, who conceded only four from the last over.
The Falcons appeared to be coasting to victory when Loots Bosman launched the chase by hitting seven fours, three of them in one over from Andrew, but the spin of Moeen and Jayasuriya put the Royals back in the game. Bosman skied Moeen to long on and Smith played around one to be lbw before Durston was caught and bowled in the next over when he drove too soon at the Sri Lankan.
The flow of runs had now dried to a trickle and the pressure on the home side would have increased if Peterson had not been badly missed before he had scored by Cameron at deep midwicket, who fell over and allowed the ball to cross the ropes. The result was still in doubt when the Falcons needed 25 off 18 balls but they had wickets in hand and Park settled any nerves by twice hitting Alan Richardson for four in the 18th over.
He then swung Mitchell for six over midwicket and although Peterson was bowled for 24 off 22 balls trying to seal victory in style, Park pulled Andrew for the winning run off the second ball of the final over.