A tough day with the bat saw Northamptonshire slump to defeat in Derbyshire.

Alex Wakely named an unchanged side before Derbyshire won the toss and elected to bat under bright blue skies at The Pattonair County Ground. Jason Holder struck immediately, finding Reece’s edge through to Rossington with just the third ball of the match. Sanderson followed suit in the seventh over, Madsen the man to go, before Holder made it two in two with the wicket of Hughes in the very next over. 

Derbyshire began to steady, but Procter and Sanderson kept things tight with just 54 runs coming from the next 18 overs. Muzarabani capitalised on the pressure, taking a wicket in his first over when du Plooy chopped on for 30. Muzarabani had his second just a few overs later when Lace failed to control his cut shot, finding Procter at third man. Godleman and Critchley came together for a partnership of 84 before Buck had his first, bowling Godleman for 87. A costly final over eventually lifted Derbyshire’s total to 268 for 6, Luke Procter the pick of the bowlers, going for just 29 from his 10.

Northamptonshire’s chase got off to a poor start, losing both openers in the first three overs. Both Levi and Cobb offering simple catches to the slips attempting to drive outside off. Alex Wakely was then dismissed by arguably the best cricket of the day from van Beek and Hughes. The delivery lifting and moving away outside off to find the edge with Hughes tumbling low to his left to take the chance at second slip. Regular wickets would then prove to be the undoing of the Steelbacks, as they lost their next five wickets inside 21 overs.

A mix-up with Rossington found Newton short of his ground before Rossington was bowled looking to drive Hughes. Jason Holder seemed in ominous form, cracking three boundaries in three deliveries before he also had his stumps disturbed trying to loft Hughes down the ground. Keogh made a promising start before he was trapped in front by a skidding Hughes delivery, the all-rounder finishing with figures of 4/44. Nathan Buck came and went, a rising Rampaul delivery seeing his edge fly to second slip.

Luke Procter and Ben Sanderson then came together and fought to put on a record ninth wicket partnership for the Steelbacks. Together they looked in control, adding 70 before Sanderson’s upper cut fell into the hands of third man. He fell for 31, his highest List A score. Blessing Muzarabani joined Procter and the pair continued to give Steelbacks fans a slither of hope. Procter reached his fifth List A 50 off 64 balls but lost Muzarabani at the other end the very next ball. Ending the innings and making a win for the Steelbacks in their first home fixture against Warwickshire vital.

Derbyshire 268 (Muzarabani 2/54, Holder 2/62) defeated Northamptonshire 215 (Procter 50*, Sanderson 31). Full scorecard.

The Steelbacks take on Warwickshire at The County Ground on Sunday. Save money by buying tickets online in advance.