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Reece best sends Derbyshire soaring

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Derbyshire 211 for 5 (Reece 97*, Smit 42*) beat Lancashire 176 for 9 (Livingstone 44, Henry 3-37) by 35 runs
Scorecard

File photo – Luis Reece made his best score in T20 of 97 not out © Getty Images

Luis Reece left his mark on his former county with a T20 best unbeaten 97 from 55 balls as Derbyshire beat Lancashire by 35 runs in the NatWest Blast game at Derby.

Reece hit 10 fours and four sixes and with Daryn Smit who made 42 from 20 balls added 77 in seven overs to take Derbyshire to an imposing 211 for 5. Liam Livingstone threatened to chase that down by smashing five sixes in an 18-ball 44 and Karl Brown made 41 but the Derbyshire bowlers hit back to end a run of two defeats in the North Group as Lancashire finished well short on 176 for 9.

The visitors had elected to bowl first but Reece struck the ball cleanly from the start, driving Ryan McLaren straight for six and pulling him for four as 59 came from the first five overs.

Reece dispatched Jordan Clark over the midwicket boundary and drove Matt Parkinson for a third six before Stephen Parry removed the dangerous Wayne Madsen who missed a reverse sweep in the ninth over.

Derbyshire were well placed at 103 for 3 at the halfway point of the innings and although Gary Wilson was stumped charging at Parry, Reece drove Parkinson for his fourth six after reaching 50 from 26 balls. Arron Lilley also had Alex Hughes stumped in the 14th over but Lancashire’s bowlers could not exert any sustained pressure and Smit joined Reece to take Derbyshire past 200.

Both batsmen improvised well with Smit plundering three consecutive fours from Junaid Khan as 62 came from the last six overs to leave Lancashire facing a tough chase under the lights.

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Livingstone moved into overdrive from the off, pulling and cutting Matt Henry for three sixes and two fours in the second over which cost 26 and he clubbed Hardus Viljoen over the ropes at midwicket from the last ball of the third.

Imran Tahir was driven for a fifth six but Madsen’s offspin ended the onslaught when Livingstone skied a drive to long on where Hughes took a well judged catch. Brown picked up the baton by pulling Madsen and Tahir for sixes before he played on to Matt Critchley and the legspinner Derbyshire hopes soaring in his next over when Jos Butler failed to clear long off.

Dane Vilas was run out when he was stranded at the same end as Lilley who kept Lancashire believing by driving Tahir for six but after Steven Croft drilled the South African high over the long-off boundary, Henry returned to york him.

When Lilley drove Ben Cotton to cover in the next over, Lancashire were fading fast and Derbyshire comfortably closed out the game.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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