Derbyshire 135 for 5 beat Lancashire 132 for 7 by five wickets
Derbyshire revived their Friends Provident t20 hopes with a five-wicket win over Lancashire Lightning in a low-scoring match at Queen's Park in Chesterfield. Tim Groenewald took three wickets for 18 runs as the Lightning lost half their batsmen for 22 before an unbeaten 65 from 51 balls by Gareth Cross - his highest score for nearly three years - lifted the visitors to 132 for 7.
The Falcons slipped to 12 for 2 but 50 from 44 balls by Garry Park saw them to a fifth win in the North Group with 11 balls to spare and condemned the Lightning to a fourth defeat. Lancashire had been on the back foot from the start as Groenewald wrecked the top order by taking a wicket in each of his first three overs and the innings was in tatters at 22 for 5 in the sixth over.
Stephen Moore lost his middle stump to the third ball of the match, Steven Croft pulled a short ball to mid-wicket and Paul Horton was lbw playing across one from Charl Langeveldt. Mark Chilton chipped Groenewald tamely to midwicket and when Tom Smith was caught behind driving at Steffan Jones' first ball, the Lightning were facing humiliation.
But Cross hit back with the help of Nathan McCullum and Glen Chapple and a dropped return catch by Robin Peterson in the 14th over when he was on 21. McCullum had been caught at long-off for 14 in Peterson's previous over and if the South African had held Cross's low drive, the Lightning would have been 68 for 7.
It allowed Cross to make his best Twenty20 score and share a stand of 63 in eight overs with Chapple, who chipped in with 21 off 24 balls before he top-edged a pull to square leg in the last over. Cross had already swept Peterson for six and he signed off in style by pulling the last ball of the innings out of the park as the normally accurate Langeveldt went for 18 from the final over.
The Lightning needed early wickets to put pressure on the Falcons and they claimed two in the first three overs with big-hitters Loots Bosman and Wes Durston both failing. Durston was bowled for three pulling Simon Kerrigan and Bosman was stumped for nine giving McCullum the charge with the total on 12.
Another quick wicket would have caused some jitters in the home camp but skipper Greg Smith and Park added 47 in seven overs although Tom Smith thought he had Park caught behind on nine off what was signalled a wide by Vanburn Holder.
Smith drove Stephen Parry to long-off in the 10th over but Park and Peterson took the Falcons to within sight of victory by adding 55 in seven overs.
Although Peterson was needlessly run out for 29 attempting a second and Park sliced a drive to backward point, John Sadler ended the Lightning's hopes of a late comeback by lifting Parry for six over midwicket before Jon Clare cut Chapple for the winning boundary.