T20 Blast: Derbyshire to play Essex in last four after reaching Finals Day for the first time

Derbyshire
Derbyshire

Derbyshire's reward for booking their place at T20 Finals Day for the first time in 17 attempts, is a semi-final against Essex.

Defending champions Worcestershire will play Nottinghamshire in the other last-four showdown on September 21.

The draw was made after the Falcons had made sure of their place in the Edgbaston extravaganza with a seven-wicket victory over Gloucestershire in the fourth quarter-final.

The hosts posted a modest 135 for seven at Bristol after losing the toss, Ian Cockbain contributing 45 not out and Miles Hammond 31. There were two wickets each for Matt Critchley and Fynn Hudson-Prentice, while Ravi Rampaul and Alex Hughes were impressively economical.

Derbyshire were never under pressure in their reply and Wayne Madsen led the way with 47 as they reached 137 for three with 17 balls to spare.

Madsen and Leus du Plooy (29 not out) shared a third-wicket stand of 72 to take their team to the brink of victory, after Billy Godleman's 25 had ensured a fast start.

It was a comprehensive success for Godleman and his team, who outplayed their opponents in all departments to create club history.

Gloucestershire's innings was given momentum in the third over, sent down by Logan van Beek, as Michael Klinger and Hammond contrived to top-edge balls over the wicketkeeper's head for six to the short boundary at the Ashley Down Road End.

At the end of the powerplay the hosts were 48 for one, Hammond's 25-ball innings having ended when he was caught at extra cover off Hudson-Prentice in the sixth over.

The ninth over, bowled by Hughes, proved a big one for Derbyshire as James Bracey perished to a mistimed reverse sweep and dangerman Klinger was run out by Rampaul.

At 58 for three, Gloucestershire had to rebuild. But it became 72 for four when Ryan Higgins gave a tame return catch to Critchley, who along with Hughes put a brake on the scoring rate.

Critchley then took a brilliant catch off his own bowling to send back Jack Taylor, running towards midwicket and diving full length as a skyer dropped over his shoulder. With five overs left, Gloucestershire had only just brought up 100.

Cockbain did his best to boost the total with sixes off Luis Reece and Hudson-Prentice but Derbyshire's bowlers maintained a nagging line and length on a slow pitch, backed up by sharp ground fielding.

Rampaul's dismissal of Andrew Tye in the final over made him the leading wicket-taker in the competition with 22.

Soon Godleman and Reece were making Gloucestershire's total look woefully short. Godleman hit his first ball from David Payne over extra cover for four and Reece hit the first six of the innings in the second over, bowled by Tye.

The openers had put on 44 in four overs when Tye bowled Reece with a full-length ball for 15. Chris Liddle quickly followed up by removing Godleman, who skied to short third man - and Gloucestershire sensed a chance.

But 56 for two at the end of the powerplay gave Madsen and du Plooy time to milk singles and take stock of the pitch. By the halfway point in the innings they had taken the score to 82.

The odd boundary mixed with ones and twos was sufficient from then on and the two batsmen displayed sound common sense in chasing down the modest target.

By the time Madsen clipped a catch to square-leg off Tye in the 17th over to end his 37-ball contribution, the job was almost done.

Hughes completed it with a boundary off Liddle's second ball of the 18th over, the first having been a wide.

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