The Derbyshire Falcons faint hopes of reaching the Friends Life t20 quarter finals were dealt a severe blow after they crashed to an seven wicket defeat against the lowly Northamptonshire Steelbacks at the County Ground in Derby.
The result leaves the Falcons two points behind the 4th place Durham Dynamos; who can claim a place in the quarter finals and in turn end the hopes of the Falcons with a victory against Yorkshire Carnegie on Sunday afternoon.
Having restricted the Falcons to a total of just 133-5, the Steelbacks raced to victory with 10 balls to spare, to win their first game in the Northern group for over a month.
The victory moves the Steelbacks within one point of the Warwickshire Bears has they attempt to lift themselves off the bottom of the group with two games to go.
Despite the loss of David Murphy (0) in the 2nd over, Rob White (51) and Johan Botha (54) steered the Steelbacks towards the Falcons total thanks to a second wicket stand of 109.
Alex Wakely (14) quickly followed but Botha remained at the crease to see the Steelbacks home to leave the Falcons quarter finals dreams hanging by a thread.
Having batted first the Falcons were indebted to Garry Park (50) and Ross Whiteley (39) who shared a vital sixth wicket stand of 82 after the hosts had been reduced to just 51-5.
Having been put into bat Martin Guptill (27) got the innings off to a good start but with wickets falling at regular interval the Falcons were in deep trouble until Park and Whiteley came to their rescue.