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Levi powers Northants' record chase

Northamptonshire 197 for 7 (Levi 58, Carter 3-34) beat Derbyshire 195 for 7 (Durston 47, Cobb 2-21) by three wickets
Scorecard

Richard Levi's 28-ball half-century helped Northamptonshire to a second consecutive win in the NatWest T20 Blast and the highest successful chase at Wantage Road. Levi's 58 gave Northants a quick start and Steven Crook smacked 33 in 24 balls finished the job.

Requiring close to ten an over, Northants kept pace with the chase throughout with Jobb Cobb making 35 in 23 balls and Ben Duckett 29 in 15 balls. Only legspinner Matt Critchley found any control for Derbyshire, with 2 for 19 from his three overs.

Levi was in belligerent mood once again after an opening-round 61 against Leicestershire. His second scoring stroke was a six - the trademark clip off the legs - and he added three more maximums, including a sweet straight lofted drive off Shiv Thakor before the Powerplay was complete. The first six overs were worth a healthy 77 for 1.

Cobb found form in two second XI T20s earlier in the week and here began with a classic straight-drive before clearing his front leg to smear Alex Hughes over midwicket and pulling another wide of long-on.

Duckett got his "duck-scoop" away to begin the 15th over that yielded 18 runs to bring the equation back to 46 required in 30 balls. But after an outrageous reverse sweep that flew straight into the burger van for six, he tried the same stroke and top-edged to Thakor at backward point.

Crook helped reduce the target to 16 from 12 balls and then smashed Jimmy Neesham over extra-cover for four. Just five were needed from the final over but Rory Kleinveldt was caught at long-on trying to finish the game in style, before Andy Carter yorked Rob Keogh to still leave a single needed from two balls. But a no-ball from a high full toss sealed Northamptonshire's victory.

It was a mighty chase - the highest for Northamptonshire in T20s - after Derbyshire posted 195 for 7. Buoyed by an opening-round victory at champions Lancashire, the visitors were sent in and raced off to a great start thanks to Wes Durston. He took Crook's first over for 19 - two heaved pulls flew towards the short boundary and a slammed uppercut for six over point to the long side of the ground.

He helped the visitors to 65 off the Powerplay - Hamish Rutherford falling to a catch at extra cover for 10 - but they lost Durston on the cusp of a half-century before skipping down to Seekkuge Prasanna and being stumped for 47.

It ended a stand of 74 for the second wicket in just 36 balls. Chesney Hughes played his part with 46 in 29 balls, having begun with three boundaries, all of them off the edge of the bat: two flashing past slip and a top-edge that Adam Rossington couldn't take behind the stumps.

But having been 110 for 3 after 11 overs, Northants hauled back the Derbyshire innings with four wickets in 11 balls. Cobb, the stand-in captain, was taken for four, six, four in successive balls by Wayne Madsen before gaining his revenge by trapping Madsen lbw trying to sweep. Hughes then missed a straight delivery and was bowled middle stump to give Cobb a second wicket in the over.

Ollie Stone returned to have Neesham caught at first slip and when Graeme White claimed a return catch from Thakor, 140 for 3 had become 151 for 7. But Tom Poynton found two boundaries in the closing overs, coupled with some good running in his 37 in 21 balls, to put up a testing target. It proved not enough.

Northants 2nd innings Partnerships

WktRunsPlayers
1st18RE LeviAM Rossington
2nd90RE LeviJJ Cobb
3rd12RE LeviBM Duckett
4th40SP CrookBM Duckett
5th9SP CrookS Prasanna
6th23SP CrookRK Kleinveldt
7th3SP CrookRI Keogh
8th2SP CrookGG White