Madsen sees Derbyshire Falcons to their 1st Vitality Blast T20 Finals day
Wayne Madsen led the way with 47 as Derbyshire Falcons reached Vitality Blast Finals day for the first time with a comfortable seven-wicket quarter-final win over Gloucestershire at the Bristol County Ground.
Gloucestershire 135 - 7
Derbyshire Falcons 137 - 3
Result - Derbyshire Falcons won by 7 wickets
The hosts posted a modest 135 for seven after losing the toss, Ian Cockbain contributing 45 not out and Miles Hammond 31. There were two wickets each for Matt Critchley and Fynn Hudson-Prentice, while Ravi Rampaul and Alex Hughes were impressively economical.
Derbyshire were never under pressure in their reply and reached 137 for three with 2.5 overs to spare. Madsen and Leus du Plooy (29 not out) shared a third-wicket stand of 72 to take their team to the brink of victory and Billy Godleman’s 25 had ensured a fast start.
It was a comprehensive success for Godleman and his team, who outplayed their opponents in all departments to create club history.
Gloucestershire’s innings was given momentum in the third over, sent down by Logan van Beek, as Michael Klinger and Hammond contrived to top-edge balls over the wicketkeeper’s head for six to the short boundary at the Ashley Down Road End.
At the end of the power-play the hosts were 48 for one, Hammond’s 25-ball innings having ended when he was caught at extra cover off Hudson-Prentice in the sixth over.
The ninth over, bowled by Hughes, proved a big one for Derbyshire as James Bracey perished to a mistimed reverse sweep and danger-man Klinger was run out by Rampaul, sent back by Cockbain, attempting a quick single to short third man.
At 58 for three, Gloucestershire had to rebuild. But it became 72 for four when Ryan Higgins gave a tame return catch Critchley, who along with Hughes put a brake on the scoring rate.
Critchley then took a brilliant catch off his own bowling to send back Jack Taylor, running towards mid-wicket and diving full length as a skyer dropped over his shoulder. With five overs left, Gloucestershire had only just brought up 100.
Cockbain did his best to boost the total with sixes off Luis Reece and Hudson-Prentice, but Derbyshire’s bowlers maintained a nagging line and length on a slow pitch, backed up by sharp ground fielding.
Rampaul’s dismissal of Andrew Tye in the final over made him the leading wicket-taker in the Blast with 22.
Soon Godleman and Reece were making Gloucestershire’s total look woefully short. Godleman hit his first ball from David Payne over extra cover for four and Reece hit the first six of the innings in the second over, bowled by Tye.
The openers had put on 44 in four overs when Tye bowled Reece with a full-length ball for 15. Chris Liddle quickly followed up by removing Godleman, who skied to short third man, Gloucestershire sensed a chance.
But 56 for two at the end of the power-play gave Madsen and du Plooy time to milk singles and take stock of the pitch. By the halfway point in the innings they had taken the score to 82.
The odd boundary mixed with ones and twos was sufficient from then on and the two batsmen displayed sound common sense in chasing down the small target.
By the time Madsen clipped a catch to square-leg off Tye in the 17th over to end his 37-ball contribution, the job was almost done. Hughes completed it with a boundary off Liddle’s second ball of the 18th over, the first having been a wide.
TURNING POINT: The run out of Michael Klinger in the ninth over of Gloucestershire’s innings. The skipper had averaged 88 in his last four Blast innings.
SHOT OF THE DAY: Ian Cockbain’s defiant big six over wide long-on off Fynn Hudson-Prentice in the penultimate over of Gloucestershire’s disappointing innings.
UNSUNG HERO: Alex Hughes (Derbyshire) … The medium pacer went for just 19 runs from his four overs and helped stifle Gloucestershire’s run-rate as they looked to accelerate.
WHAT’S NEXT: Gloucestershire return to their bid for promotion in the Specsavers County Championship with a home game against Sussex, starting on Tuesday, while Derbyshire begin a four-day game against Lancashire at Old Trafford the same day.
Derbyshire's man-of-the-match Wayne Madsen said: "We have been building a T20 culture over the past few years and a lot of hard work has gone into reaching Finals Day for the first time.
"Our bowlers were outstanding, with Matt Critchley and Alex Hughes doing a fantastic job in the middle overs. Apart from one blip (he himself dropped Andrew Tye in the last over of Gloucestershire's innings) our fielding was excellent and Critchley's catch to dismiss Jack Taylor was fantastic. That was an important wicket.
"We will be underdogs on Finals Day, but that was probably the case tonight and in our last few group games. We have come through them all.
"I will approach Finals Day confident that we have as good a chance as any of the other three teams, given our current form, and I am sure that applies to the other players too."
Gloucestershire skipper Michael Klinger said: "Derbyshire outplayed us and all credit to them. Their bowlers gave us nothing by keeping to really disciplined lines and length and it was one of the best fielding displays I have seen by an opposition team.
"You have to turn up on the night of big games and we didn't really do that this evening. We needed at least 160 to have a par score and give our bowlers something to defend.
"I will now be returning to Australia a couple of weeks earlier than I would have liked. It's not the way I wanted my time here to end, but we missed Benny Howell tonight. I think he would have been very effective on that pitch.
"No excuses. The better team won. Five years ago I might have recovered my ground with that run-out, but who knows? I might have gone on to a hundred or been out next ball."
Gloucestershire - Miles Hammond, Michael Klinger(c), James Bracey(wk), Ian Cockbain, Ryan Higgins, Jack Taylor, Graeme van Buuren, Tom Smith, Andrew Tye, David Payne, Chris Liddle
Derbyshire Falcons - Luis Reece, Billy Godleman(c), Wayne Madsen, Leus du Plooy, Alex Hughes, Matthew Critchley, Fynn Hudson-Prentice, Daryn Smit(wk), Logan van Beek, Anuj Dal, Ravi Rampaul
Start Time: 19:05
Toss: Derbyshire Falcons won the toss and decided to field
Venue: The Bristol County Ground, Bristol
Officials: David Millns, Steve O'Shaughnessy, Graham Lloyd, Robert White
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