Godleman and Madsen help power Falcons to victory
Experienced Derbyshire duo of skipper Billy Godleman and Wayne Madsen powered Derbyshire Falcons to a third win in four Natwest T20 Blast matches to leave Worcestershire Rapids still searching for their first success of the campaign.
The Rapids had posted a challenging looking target of 187 thanks to the efforts of Joe Clarke, Ross Whiteley and Ben Cox.
But the Falcons made light work of their task and achieved a seven wicket win with 10 balls to spare once Godleman and Madsen joined forces and added 93 in 10 overs for the third wicket.
Godleman achieved his career best score in T20 cricket and his 70 came off just 42 balls and contained two sixes and seven fours.
It was his first half century for Derbyshire in the short format and he also surpassed his previous best of 69 for Middlesex.
Madsen finished unbeaten on 58 from 35 deliveries with nine fours to add to his tidy spell with the ball.
In contrast, the Rapids have lost their opening three T20 Blast matches - all at New Road - and already are facing an uphill battle if they are to maintain hopes of qualifying for the quarter-finals.
The Rapids were put into bat under murky skies and Daryl Mitchell (3), who has become their highest ever T20 scorer, holed out to wide mid on in Madsen’s opening over.
Joe Clarke reeled off a series of impressive strokes, mixing power with delicate ramp and scoop shots, in making 42 off only 18 balls with seven fours and a six.
The England Lions batsman was eventually bowled by a Hardus Viljoen full-toss as the Rapids reached 63-2 by the end of the powerplay.
Madsen and Imran Tahir then slowed the run rate and Brett D’Oliveira (23) was trapped lbw by the former attempting a reverse sweep.
Tahir claimed his 199th victim in domestic T20 cricket when Mitchell Santner was caught behind but his last over cost 16 runs and the Rapids regained momentum via Ben Cox and Ross Whiteley.
Whiteley produced typically big hitting against his former club but he had an escape on 23 when Derbyshire debutant Callum Brodrick spilled a straightforward chance at deep mid wicket off Henry.
To add salt into the wound for Academy product Brodrick, the ball trickled from his grasp and to the boundary.
Whiteley eventually fell in the final over from Henry to deep extra cover after making 39 off 28 balls with two sixes and two fours.
But Cox continued his recent good form in making 40 not out and John Hastings pulled and straight drove Henry’s last two deliveries for six.
Derbyshire openers Billy Godleman and Matt Critchley gave their side a hurricane start and plundered 57 from the opening four overs.
Worcestershire skipper Joe Leach conceded 28 runs in two overs and spinner George Rhodes was taken for 19 in his initial over.
Jack Shantry, who passed a fitness test on an ankle injury, had Critchley (31 off 16 balls) safely pouched at deep mid wicket.
Then the introduction into the attack of Santner quickly paid dividends as Luis Reece (9) was caught at long on.
New Zealand spinner Santner bowled two typically tight overs and scoring was not so straightforward with the pace taken off the ball.
The Falcons 100 came up in the 11th over and Madsen wrestled the initiative back with the Falcons by striking three fours in a third over from Santner which cost 15 runs.
Madsen had a let-off on 36 as Leach at mid off spilled a chance off Ed Barnard.
Godleman was stumped by Cox off Santner, who finished with 2-27 from his four overs, but by then only 18 were needed for victory.