The Steelbacks secured their first Vitality Blast win of the campaign with a six wicket win over the Derbyshire Falcons at Derby.

Saif Zaib with an unbeaten 37 from 22 balls eased the visitors home with two overs to spare after the Falcons had posted 151 for 6.

Wayne Madsen top scored with 57 from 46 balls, his third consecutive Blast 50, and shared a fifth wicket stand of 92 from 70 balls with Brooke Guest who made 49.

Chris Lynn and David Willey put on 64 from 50 balls and although Luis Reece removed them both, Zaib and Lewis McManus consigned the Falcons to a third North Group defeat.

Reece had earlier swept Josh Cobb for six in the first over but the Falcons lost momentum and both openers in the powerplay. Haider Ali miscued a pull at Willey to mid off and Reece got a leading edge trying to whip Tom Taylor through midwicket.

The Falcons were 47 for 2 after six overs but they lost skipper Leus Du Plooy in the seventh when James Sales, who impressed all day with genuine pace and control, found some swing to clip his off stump.

When Anuj Dal missed a drive at Freddie Heldreich’s first ball, the Falcons were in trouble but once again Madsen pulled them round with help from Guest.

He barely cleared long off with a slap down the ground but pulled with more conviction before lifting Andrew Tye over the long on boundary.

The Steelbacks got rid of him after posting 50 in 42 balls in the penultimate over when he pulled Taylor to deep midwicket and Guest’s well paced innings ended in the final over when he lifted Tye into the hands of long on.

The Falcons had to take early wickets and Zaman Khan struck in the second over when Ricardo Vasconcelos pulled a long hop hard to short midwicket after only one run came from Mark Watts opening over.

Just three boundaries came from the first four overs and George Scrimshaw increased the pressure by conceding only four from the fifth.

Lynn pulled Zak Chappell for four but at the end of the powerplay, the Falcons disciplined bowling had restricted the Steelbacks to 29 for 1.

Lynn responded by pulling and driving Scrimshaw to the ropes before Willey pulled Reece for a big six over midwicket in the 10th over.

But when he tried to repeat the shot, he failed to clear deep midwicket and Reece struck again when Lynn edged a wide delivery into his stumps, leaving the Steelbacks on 71 for 3 at the halfway point of their innings.

Josh Cobb and Zaib got the innings back on track by adding 41 from 29 balls before Cobb pulled Khan to deep square leg where Dal held on at the second attempt.

Saif Zaib mixed innovation with genuine power as he found willing partners in both Cobb and McManus. The 25-year-old clever tucked away four 4s and broke the back of the chase when he lifted Reece over the fine leg rope twice in three balls.

Lewis McManus was equal to him at the other end, powerfully flicking Scrimshaw over wide long on for six the over before and ultimately swiveling a waist high no ball over short fine to secure victory with 11 balls to spare.

The Steelbacks now return to Wantage Road for two more fixtures this week, first welcoming the Bears on Wednesday in a T20 Double Header.

Jul Sun 07 - 2:30 pm


Sun 07

2:30 pm

Northamptonshire Steelbacks