Steelbacks' One-Day Cup hopes over after defeat to Derbyshire

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Northamptonshire Steelbacks saw their Metro Bank One-Day Cup hopes go up in smoke as they fell to a four-wicket defeat to Derbyshire Falcons on Sunday.

Matt Lamb hit a courageous unbeaten 63 to help the Falcons come from behind to seal a nail-biting victory at Wantage Road.

Battling an injured back, Lamb faced 82 balls as Derbyshire struggled to force the pace on an increasingly sluggish pitch, with just four boundaries coming in the first 37 overs of the chase.

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After three wickets fell in 10 overs, Lamb combined with Brooke Guest in a stand of 77 in 18.2 overs. For most of that time, the pair looked comfortable, but were unable to locate the boundary ropes.

Ben Sanderson bagged two wickets for the Steelbacks (photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)Ben Sanderson bagged two wickets for the Steelbacks (photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
Ben Sanderson bagged two wickets for the Steelbacks (photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Lamb though began to accelerate with the Falcons needing 59 off the last 10 overs and reduced the target further to 26 from the last 30 balls.

Joined by a proactive Anuj Dal (20), the pair took the visitors to within 21 of their target.

With Luke Procter conceding just one run off the 46th and Dal caught off Ben Sanderson with 20 balls remaining, the momentum shifted slightly back towards the Steelbacks.

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Alex Thomson though hit Tom Taylor down the ground for four, leaving Derbyshire needing 10 off the last two overs.

Lamb and Thomson made sure the final over was not needed as both smashed Sanderson for four.

The Steelbacks had gone into the game knowing they needed to win to stay alive in the bid to reach the One-Day Cup knockout stages.

But having lost the toss, things started badly with the bat for the home side as Emilio Gay and Ricardo Vasconcelos departed inside the opening eight overs.

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Rob Keogh and Sam Whiteman briefly steadied the ship before the latter picked out the man at point.

Keogh went for 30, but Procter and Lewis McManus before some rebuilding in the middle overs.

However, both players were dismissed in quick succession, leaving the Steelbacks 136 for six.

James Sales was at least able to add some late runs, finishing unbeaten on 35, but Northants were well below par at 201 all out with three balls to spare.

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And Derbyshire did enough in their reply to ensure the Steelbacks won’t be progressing in this season's competition.

John Sadler’s side will play their final One-Day Cup clash of the campaign at Glamorgan on Tuesday.