Stirling ton does the trick for Middlesex

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Paul Stirling cracked 109 off 81 balls to lead Middlesex to a 34-run victory over Derbyshire in their Clydesdale Bank 40 Group A clash.

Paul Stirling cracked 109 off 81 balls to lead Middlesex to a 34-run victory over Derbyshire in their Clydesdale Bank 40 Group A clash.

Having seen his side put in to bat, the Irishman was the driving force for the Panthers as they posted a competitive total of 253 in Chesterfield.

The visitors launched a brutal early attack on the Derbyshire bowlers, with 73 runs on the board after ten overs.

However, Middlesex were unable to maintain their lightning fast pace as debutant spinner Peter Burgoyne (2 for 36) put on the skids.

Part of the Panthers' problem was that while Stirling remained going at it with all guns blazing, there was not much in the way of support for the number three, with Ollie Rayner's unbeaten 34 the next best score.

The Derbyshire chase began in the worst possible fashion, with Kiwi opener Martin Guptill edging behind in Steven Finn's first over.

Half-centuries from Chesney Hughes (66) and Wayne Madsen (50) put the host's innings back on track but the loss of four wickets for 26 in the middle-order dealt Derby a killer blow.

Some late hitting from Tom Poynton (40) gave the Falcons' total some level of respectability but in the end they were well short.

Finn was Middlesex's top performer, with the England discard finishing with figures of three for 28.

The result means that Derbyshire can no longer qualify for the knockout phase of the competition.

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