Worcestershire beat Derbyshire to reach T20 Blast quarter-finals
|NatWest T20 Blast, New Road|
|Worcestershire Rapids 209-4 (20 overs) beat Derbyshire Falcons 181-7 (20 overs) by 28 runs|
Worcestershire secured a T20 Blast quarter-final spot and achieved their fifth-highest ever T20 score thanks to a 28-run victory over Derbyshire.
After Daryl Mitchell had made 39, Ross Whiteley hit a T20 career-best unbeaten 84 - including nine sixes - to help the Rapids to 209-4 off their 20 overs.
Wes Durston (36), Gareth Cross (34) and Wayne Madsen (40) had given Derbyshire a platform to build on in response.
But Joe Leach (2-22) and Jack Shantry (2-34) ensured they only managed 181-7.
Visitors Derbyshire had looked like they could reach what had seemed an unassailable target after a 56-run partnership between Madsen and Billy Godleman (26) took them to 154-4 after 15.4 overs.
But after Shantry bowled Godleman, the tail enders struggled for runs and eventually fell short of their opponents, with what was still a record T20 score for Derbyshire against Worcestershire.
Worcestershire now travel to Surrey for a place at finals day at Edgbaston on 23 August.
Worcestershire chief executive David Leatherdale:
"T20 has been good for us. We started with two losses on the road and then got six wins in a row to give us the momentum.
"We've played some decent cricket and everybody has dovetailed at some point to get us to this position.
"We've progressed to the quarter-final in what is a tough group, where you've got Lancashire, Notts, Durham and Yorkshire.
"We probably wouldn't have been top of the list to qualify at the start of the season."
Derbyshire's elite performance director Graeme Welch:
"We didn't win any early-season games and that dragged us down, but the lads have been brilliant and kept going all the time.
"The work ethic has been second to none and they have kept doing all we have asked of them, but it's been difficult."