Yorkshire’s Vitality Blast quarter-final hopes suffered a huge blow with a home defeat by 55 runs against Derbyshire as they fell short of chasing 208 at Emerald Headingley.
The Vikings’ fourth defeat from nine North Group games, added to just one win, has left them with a mountain to climb to secure a place in the top four.
It is looking increasingly likely they will have to win their remaining five games to have any chance of progression.
South African-born duo Leus du Plooy and Wayne Madsen both hit powerful half-centuries in Derbyshire’s 207-5 before Yorkshire responded with 152 all out with 17 balls remaining.
The Falcons, for whom overseas fast bowler Logan van Beek claims 4-17 from three overs, have now completed the T20 double over the Vikings in each of the last three seasons.
Derbyshire were invited to bat first, and du Plooy hit 51 off 23 balls and Madsen 66 off 37. Both men hit four sixes apiece. There were 11 in the innings in total.
The pair shared 87 in seven overs for the third wicket, advancing from 55-2 in the seventh to really set the innings up.
The key passage came in the 12th and 13th overs, which yielded 45 runs for the visitors.
Du Plooy smashed three sixes and two fours off Duanne Olivier in the 12th, which went for a massive 32 to take the score to 128-2.
His 50 off 20 balls was Derbyshire’s joint fastest ever fifty in any form of the game, while Madsen, who offered a tough chance to Jack Shutt at third-man on 28, later reached the same milestone off 31 balls.
Left-handed Du Plooy took advantage of the shorter leg-side boundary towards the East Stand side of Headingley, but Yorkshire dragged things back late on once both had fallen to David Willey and Tim Bresnan.
Bresnan had only previously bowled two overs in three Blast appearances in 2019, but he finished with 2-17 from two overs.
The Vikings then lost early wickets in the chase, slipping to 40-3 in the fourth over.
New Zealander Logan van Beek had Tom Kohler-Cadmore caught at point in the first over and Willey caught at third-man before Adam Lyth (28 off 17 balls) was caught behind off Ravi Rampaul.
But the Vikings kept up with the rate to ensure they weren’t over-run, reaching 75-3 early in the eighth.
Unfortunately, however, Jonny Tattersall (17) was then lbw reverse sweeping at leg-spinner Matt Critchley before Bresnan was run out, leaving the score at 89-5 in the 10th.
The runs still came, with Jack Leaning and Jordan Thompson clearing the ropes.
Thompson even hit his first ball for six over mid-wicket off Critchley, with the pair sharing 45 off four overs to keep hopes of a comeback win alive.
But when Thompson (23) miscued van Beek to cover and Leaning was brilliantly caught behind by Daryn Smit off the glove for 36, Yorkshire had lost two wickets in the 14th over and were 137-7.
Luis Reece then struck twice in the 17th over to help mop up the tail before a second run out.