Matt Breetzke starred with a brilliant 94 but the Steelbacks struggled with the ball and fell to a disappointing defeat against the Falcons.

A dismissive innings from Aneurin Donald gave Derbyshire Falcons a 24 run win over the Steelbacks under Duckworth Lewis in the North Group match at Derby.

Donald smashed eight sixes in a 26 ball 68, equalling his own record for Derbyshire’s fastest T20 50, to put the Falcons ahead of the run rate on 123 for 3 after 11 overs when a violent thunderstorm ended the game.

Breetzke batted superbly to score a T20 best 94 from 54 balls, sharing a stand of 81 with Sikandar Raza, as the Steelbacks reached 193 for 8.

Rain left Falcons with a revised target of 187 from 19 overs but Donald’s demolition shredded the bowling before David Lloyd, 33, and Cam Fletcher kept the home side ahead of the game before the heavens opened.

Steelbacks scored only six from the first two overs which included a maiden from Daryn Dupavillon before Breetzke took three fours from Pat Brown.

Ricardo Vasconcelos was dropped at cover by Samit Patel off Brown but it did not prove costly as the opener was comprehensively yorked in the fourth over by DuPavillion.

Breetzke was finding his range and pulled Zak Chappell into the car park before David Willey dished out the same treatment to Dupavillon.

But Dupavillon had the last word by getting Willey to miscue a drive low to mid off as Steelbacks ended the powerplay on 55 for 2.

After a  brief stoppage for a sharp shower, Breetzke and Ravi Bopara worked the ball around without taking risks and had put on 48 from 36 balls when Falcons made a big breakthrough.

Bopara tried to launch Mitch Wagstaff over the midwicket  boundary only for  Ross Whiteley to take a well judged catch just inside the ropes.

But Breetzke and Raza trod on the accelerator to plunder 79 in five overs as the ball disappeared to all parts.

After Breetzke reached 50 from 36 balls, he pulled Brown for six and dispatched Ross Whiteley for another maximum before Raza launched Chappell over the ropes.

Breetzke passed his previous highest T20 score of 80 by taking three consecutive fours off Dupavillon before a yorker ended a thrilling innings.

Brown and Chappell dragged it back  by conceding only 11 from the last two overs in which Steelbacks lost four wickets trying to push towards 200.

Falcons needed a fast start and Donald delivered, driving Willey straight for six and pulling and driving Ben Sanderson for two more as they raced to 50 in the fifth over.

Donald pulled Raphy Weatherall into the home dug out and smashed a Saif Zaib full toss for six before he launched a no ball over deep midwicket to reach 50 from 19 balls.

He hammered two more off Freddie Heldreich before holing out to long off in the seventh over but he had done exactly what the situation demanded.

Bopara had Wayne Madsen caught behind and Patel was caught at deep square but the Falcons had done enough by the time torrential rain ended the contest.