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Derbyshire seek final flourish

A Frustrating Twenty20 Cup campaign can still have a happy ending for Derbyshire.

Success in a Roses double challenge for the county over the next two days would leave a smile on the faces of Derbyshire followers, even though that would almost certainly not be enough to earn them progress in the competition.

The Phantoms are at home to Lancashire tonight and end the group stages against Yorkshire at Headingley tomorrow.

Having been denied their first victory in the north group by the weather at Leicester on Monday, they have no more than a mathematical chance of a late charge to the quarter-finals but director of cricket David Houghton says that will not affect his side's approach to their last two matches.

"It will be the same as for any other game," he said.

"Our one-day form has been such that we would take a win against anybody, so beating Lancashire and Yorkshire would do us a power of good.

"You look at their squads on paper and then look at ours and, apart from the overseas players, they are as different as chalk and cheese so to get a win against one or both of them would be great for us when we get back into Championship cricket at Middlesex on Sunday."

Houghton concedes that this has been a miserable Twenty20 campaign for the county but has been encouraged by the two performances against Leicestershire.

"Notts gave us a hiding but they are capable of doing that to anybody," he added. "Two wins against Leicester would have put us right in there with a chance and we came within two balls of beating them first time, then within three of beating them the second.

"The whole Twenty20 could not have gone much worse for us but the good thing is that we have managed to get in three of our four home matches so far and the forecast is good for the Lancashire game.

"Hopefully, we will get a good crowd to back us and be able to reward them by turning Lancashire over."

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