Godleman leads Derbyshire charge to top of Royal London group
Derbyshire survived a late assault from Tom Wells to go top of the Royal London One-Day Cup North Group with a five-run victory at Derby over Leicestershire, who axed captain Michael Carberry before the game.
In a match reduced to 33 overs by rain, Billy Godleman top scored with a run-a-ball 64 and Gary Wilson made 49 out of Derbyshire’s 211 for 9 as Indian fast bowler Varun Aaron taking 4 for 31.
The Foxes looked down and out as Luis Reece claimed 3 for 37 and Matt Critchley 3 for 35 in reply and, although Wells hit an unbeaten 49 from 28 balls, they came up short on 206 for 7.
Leicestershire announced before the game Carberry had been relieved of the captaincy following a “review” by head coach Paul Nixon.
Carberry’s replacement, Paul Horton, decided to bowl first when play got under way at 2pm.
Despite murky conditions, Derbyshire’s openers had no trouble sighting the white ball with Ben Slater pulling Gavin Griffiths for consecutive sixes.
But the seamer responded impressively by having Slater caught at short fine leg for 29 and then lured Reece into pulling a short ball to deep square leg in his next over.
Wayne Madsen drove former Derbyshire spinner Callum Parkinson for six but then steered Aaron to third man before Critchley chopped Parkinson into his stumps to reduce the home side to 92 for 4 in the 15th over.
Godleman and Wilson regained the initiative by adding 71 in 11 overs before Neil Dexter had Godleman caught behind off a wild swing and Alex Hughes chipped to mid-wicket.
Wilson was bowled making room against Aaron but Daryn Smit provided late momentum by driving Dexter for six before Aaron struck twice in the last over to leave Leicestershire needing 212.
Horton and Ned Eckersley laid down a solid platform against some accurate bowling with a stand of 58 in 11 overs before Eckersley stepped away to drive Critchley’s leg spin and was caught at deep cover for 32.
Even with the floodlights on, batting was not easy on a misty evening and Leicestershire were pegged back again when Horton mistimed a drive at Critchley low to point.
Derbyshire were building pressure and it brought them the big wicket of Mark Cosgrove when he played across one from Reece, who held a leading edge in his next over to remove Lewis Hill.
Leicestershire were falling further behind the rate and although Neil Dexter drove Reece for six, he holed out at long on off Madsen before Ben Raine was bowled aiming a big swing at Reece.
The innings continued to unravel with Colin Ackermann caught behind off Critchley for 41, but Wells hit Ravi Rampaul for two sixes in the last over before the experienced seamer held his nerve to see Derbyshire home.