One-Day Cup: Worcestershire beat Derbyshire to seal home play-off
|Royal London One-Day Cup, The Pattonair County Ground|
|Derbyshire 351-9 (50 overs): Reece 128, Madsen 113; Parnell 2-75|
|Worcestershire 353-6 (48.2 overs): Wessels 130, Ferguson 103; Critchley 3-73|
|Worcestershire (2 pts) beat Derbyshire by four wickets|
Worcestershire pulled off a record run-chase at Derby to win by four wickets, but must get through a home play-off to reach the One-Day Cup semi-finals.
Chasing 352 to win, opener Riki Wessels struck 130 off just 62 balls, and Callum Ferguson hit an unbeaten 103 to guide the visitors home on 353-6.
It briefly put the Pears on top of North Group, but Nottinghamshire also won to secure the home semi-final.
Wayne Madsen (113) and Luis Reece (128) earlier led Derbyshire to 351-9.
Their 222-run partnership was a second-wicket record for Derbyshire against Worcestershire in a List A game, and came after captain Billy Godleman was dismissed for a third-ball duck.
But the visitors' run-chase was the highest ever in a List A match at the County Ground, bookmarked by Australians Ferguson and Wessels, whose 47-ball ton, his first for Worcestershire was the fastest in English cricket this season.
Matt Critchley took 3-73 for Derbyshire, who were already eliminated from the competition, but their opponents reached their target with 10 balls remaining.
Worcestershire were hoping to book a third home One-Day Cup semi-final in a row, but Samit Patel's 136 not out led Notts to a dramatic victory over Northamptonshire which saw them regain top spot.
The Pears will host the third-placed South Group side at New Road this Friday in a bid to reach Sunday's semi-finals.
Derbyshire captain Billy Godleman:
"It's disappointing after posting 350-plus but sometimes you have to put your hands up and say well played to the opposition.
"Riki's knock at the top was as good as I've played against and, supported by Callum Ferguson to see them over the line, Worcestershire deserved their victory.
"But the way we stuck in the game and clawed our way back into it speaks a lot about the character in the group."
Pears centurion Riki Wessels told BBC Hereford & Worcester:
"I tried to hit the ball more cleanly, to just go out and attack and hope it came off. And it seemed to hit the middle of the bat more often than not.
"It was a good wicket and I've been a bit dry for runs of late so it was quite nice to ease a bit of pressure and play freely.
"It was Fergie's third hundred in eight games for Worcester. He's a fantastic player. He only landed last week and he's straight in with an unbeaten hundred."