Lancashire’s cricketers halted a run of three Royal London One-Day Cup defeats by recording a 101-run win over Derbyshire with nearly 10 overs to spare at the County Ground.
Derbyshire were unbeaten in three matches but a target of 301 proved beyond them and their former paceman Wayne White took four for 33 as they were bowled out for 199 with skipper Wayne Madsen top-scoring with 49.
Lancashire’s total of 300 for eight, which was their highest against Derbyshire in one-day cricket, was built around half-centuries from Ashwell Prince, Karl Brown, Alex Davies and Steven Croft with Tony Palladino returning his best limited-overs figures of five for 49.
The Falcons lost early wickets and when Madsen was fifth out to White with 200 still needed, the game was almost up. To complete a miserable day for Derbyshire, 19-year-old seamer Tom Taylor suffered what appeared to be a serious ankle injury.
Lancashire’s innings started slowly with only 49 coming from the first 10 overs powerplay for the loss of Australian Test batsman Usman Khawaja, who made 31 from 28 balls against his former county before Mark Footitt found some late movement and bounce to have him caught behind.
Derbyshire suffered a blow when Taylor injured his left ankle two balls into his sixth over and had to be helped off the field and Lancashire gradually increased the tempo with Prince and Brown adding 61 in 15 overs.
Prince was bowled for 57 trying to sweep David Wainwright and Brown also failed to go on when he was caught behind for 59 off a bottom-edged pull against Palladino in the 32nd over.
Lancashire lost skipper Paul Horton (19) in Palladino’s next over when he was caught at point off a ball that stopped on him but Alex Davies lifted Footitt over the wicketkeeper’s head for the first six as he and Croft accelerated in the last 10 overs.
Croft drove and pulled Wes Durston for successive sixes before Palladino halted the charge by having him caught at deep square leg for 51 from 42 balls and then yorking Davies for 53 with the next delivery.
Derbyshire’s chase started badly when the dangerous Durston was lbw playing back to Tom Bailey who struck again by tempting Scott Elstone into a wild drive at a wide ball with only 28 on the board.
When Billy Godleman also fell to a reckless cut at Jordan Clark and Marcus North top-edged to backward point trying to pull White, Derbyshire’s hopes rested with Madsen who moved smoothly to 49 from 37 balls.
But when he tried to launch White over the deep square leg boundary and only picked out Brown who made no mistake, his exit signalled the end of the home side’s chances and although Alex Hughes straight-drove Simon Kerrigan for six, White completed an efficient display by the visitors with 57 balls still remaining.
The victory keeps Lancashire’s chances of making the knockout stages alive and Prince admitted: “We needed a win and it’s nice to get one over on a team that’s in form.
“We haven’t been batting or bowling particularly well in this competition so to get 300 was good and now we need to keep winning - just like we lost three in a row we maybe now need to win three in a row.”
Derbyshire’s first defeat in the tournament was hard to swallow for Palladino who said: “It’s a tough loss to take when we have been playing so well but we weren’t quite at the races.
“In my opinion they got 15 to 20 runs too many and if we had been at our best fielding-wise and with the ball we would have restricted them to a lower total.”