Derbyshire kicked off their Royal London Cup campaign with a 29-run D/L victory over Somerset in a game reduced to 14 overs a side at Taunton on Sunday.
Having lost the toss, Derbyshire were pitched in by the hosts to bat first and made a quickfire start courtesy of Hamish Rutherford and Wes Durston. The pair added 16 before Rutherford was out for 15, off the fifth ball of the second over.
Somerset’s form in one-day cricket this summer has been far from impressive although Matthew Maynard was hoping for improved fortunes in the 50-over competition.
The coach would have been happy with the manner in which his side responded to Derbyshire’s brisk start. Lewis Gregory had Chesney Hughes caught by Jamie Overton for a single before Billy Godleman was bowled, once again by Gregory, for three off nine balls.
Durston continued to make hay and struck a six over square leg off Craig Overton, in the ninth over. However, off the very next ball, he skied a catch to wicket keeper Michael Bates.
Shiv Thakor and Wayne Madsen added 38 for the fifth wicket before the former was caught by Gregory off Craig Overton for 13, leaving his captain to top score with 45 off 27 balls.
The 31-year-old Derbyshire skipper planted a full toss from Jamie Overton into the hands of James Hildreth at extra cover off the final ball of the 13th over before Tom Poynton and Alex Hughes progressed the visitors’ total to 134 for 7.
Somerset’s reply was not only hampered by another shower, but by Derbyshire’s opening bowlers Mark Footitt and Ben Cotton. Footitt had captain Jim Allenby caught at point by Madsen before Cotton bowled Adam Hose for seven at 10 for 2.
It got worse for the host county who were left to chase a revised target of 104 off 10 overs.
Peter Trego perished, without scoring, Tom Cooper struck one or two lusty blows before skying a catch to wicket keeper Poynton at 31 for 4 and in Greg Cork’s first over, Gregory and Craig Overton were both out, for four and 0 respectively.
As Somerset’s hopes disappeared, Hildreth and Tim Groenewald departed in the eighth over, off Hughes and though the rain returned, umpires Richard Illingworth and Russell Evans kept the sides on and Derbyshire duly completed victory with a degree of comfort as Somerset were eventually bowled out for 74.
Derbyshire captain Wayne Madsen said: “When we rocked up this morning, I didn’t think we were going to get any cricket at all.
“It was one of those days when you sit around, hit some balls in the net, a gym session and sit and wait.
“When it clears up, you have to get on with it and switch on. And I thought we did that. Having lost the toss we got a decent score. It enabled us to put pressure on them.
“We were fretting a little bit when it started to rain in their innings and there was a message from the dressing room because they could see the rain coming in the distance.
“We had a similar drizzle during our innings, but I thought the umpires did well to stick at it and thankfully it did clear for the last couple of overs.
“It’s good to get off to a win under our belts to start off with.”