Shiv Thakor delivered a superb all-round performance as Derbyshire celebrated a club record one-day run chase to beat Northants by six wickets in the Royal London One-Day Cup match at Derby.
Thakor scored 129, his first limited-overs century, after taking three for 39 and shared a second wicket stand of 168 in 28 overs with Billy Godleman who made 95.
The Falcons reached 309 for 4 with eight balls to spare in reply to the Steelbacks 307 for seven, which was built around Richard Levi’s 109 off 107 balls and Josh Cobb’s 56.
Northants had looked on course for a bigger total when Cobb hit three sixes in a 49-ball 50 as the Steelbacks took advantage of some inconsistent bowling, but the Falcons regrouped and managed to exert some control, despite Levi’s impressive striking.
Thakor bowled intelligently and although Levi deposited him into the back row of the stand, the powerful South African never quite inflicted the damage he threatened at one stage.
After Cobb was bowled behind his legs and Rob Keogh drove to short extra, Levi and Alex Wakely took the visitors past 200 before the skipper failed to clear long-on.
When Jeevan Mendis went for 18 in the 40th over, a score of well over 300 looked on against an attack missing three frontline bowlers but the Falcons kept their discipline and although Levi reached his century off 104 balls, the Steelbacks had to scramble to pass 300 after he miscued Thakor to deep midwicket.
Derbyshire had never successfully chased over 300 in a limited-overs game but the Steelbacks also had key bowlers missing and Godleman and Ben Slater played with authority to put on 71 in 11 overs before Slater was beaten by Ben Duckett’s throw from cover.
Godleman took consecutive fours from Miles Richardson who was playing his first one-day game for Northants and with Thakor batting aggressively from the start, the Falcons took a firm hold on the contest.
The Steelbacks bowlers had failed to take a wicket in the previous game against Warwickshire and they looked increasingly unlikely to breakthrough as Godleman and Thakor scored freely without taking risks.
The 150 stand came up in 26 overs and Thakor celebrated his century which came off only 86 balls with the first of three consecutive fours off Steven Crook in the 38th over.
Godleman looked certain to complete his second one-day hundred against Northants but Keogh found some extra bounce to have him caught behind in the 39th over.
Derbyshire had thrown away winning positions last season but although Thakor was run out when he was caught off a no ball, they eased home to condemn Northants to a second defeat in the competition.
Shiv Thakor said: “It’s been a great day for us all. We know they are a very good side and we’ve seen how successful they’ve been in one day cricket and they came out and played well but we held our nerve and stuck to our plan and got ourselves back in the game.
“Billy played fantastically again and led from the front and him and Ben (Slater) gave us a great platform. It was one of those days and luckily I got off to a good start but I was just trying to support Billy out there and play second fiddle to him because he was batting so well.”
Richard Levi said: “Everytime we tried to put our foot down and put them under pressure we lost wickets and had to rebuild. We had plenty of partnerships, we just didn’t get one big one or an effective one which kept pushing us back but 307 at the beginning of the day we would have taken.
“They played unbelievably well in the powerplay to get ahead of the game, Shiv Thakor played a superb knock, and sometimes you get beaten.”