Derbyshire 154 for 3 (Chanderpaul 87*) beat Lancashire 151 for 8 (Brown 50, Groenewald 4-21) by seven wickets
A superb unbeaten 87 off 70 balls from Shivnarine Chanderpaul took Derbyshire to a thrilling seven-wicket victory in the Friends Life T20 match against Lancashire under the Derby floodlights. The West Indian shared a fourth-wicket stand of 58 off 33 balls with Albie Morkel to take Derbyshire past Lancashire's total of 151 with 3 balls to spare to put the Falcons top of the North Group with three wins.
Tim Groenewald took four for 21, his best figures in the competition, and although Karl Brown scored 50 off 39 balls, a target of 152 was not enough against Chanderpaul who equalled his highest T20 score.
Groenewald put Lancashire under pressure from the start by having Stephen Moore caught behind off the fourth ball and then removed Steven Croft for a duck off a top edged pull in his next over.
When Ashwell Prince dragged a drive at Groenewald to midwicket, Lancashire were 19 for three but former Derbyshire skipper Simon Katich responded by taking 20 from a Mark Footitt over before he played across the line at Jon Clare and was lbw for 28.
At 48 for 4, Derbyshire were on top but Brown and Smith put the Lightning back in the game with astute placement and big hitting with Brown pulling David Wainwright for six and launching Footitt high over long-on for another maximum. The 50 stand came off 41 balls and there was a sense of relief among the home crowd when Smith hoisted Dan Redfern into the hands of long off in the 17th over.
Brown also fell to a catch in the deep in the next over from Durston which cost only three runs but Gareth Cross lifted Lancashire by twice hoisting Redfern onto the roof of a hospitality marquee as the visitors passed 150.
Derbyshire made an even worse start with Chesney Hughes caught at slip off the first ball from Kabir Ali but Chanderpaul and Durston put the Falcons back on track with 50 from 35 balls before Glen Chapple bowled Durston for 20 off 12 balls. But Chanderpaul, who had flicked Kabir over fine leg for six, was looking like holding the key as Derbyshire reached the halfway point needing 80 from 60 balls.
By now, the rain was swirling across the County Ground, bringing Duckworth-Lewis into the equation, and Chanderpaul and Wayne Madsen batted sensibly by working the ball around for singles and two's without putting their wickets at risk.
When the umpires took the players off in the 13th over, Derbyshire were four runs ahead of the rate at 90 for two but when they came back 10 minutes later, Moore took a leaping catch at cover to remove Madsen for 23.
With 52 needed off 30 balls, Lancashire were back in it but Chanderpaul swept and pulled Stephen Parry for two fours and a six in the 16th over and finished in style by driving Kabir for two fours as Derbyshire enjoyed their best ever start to a Twenty20 campaign.