Ben Cox hit his career best NatWest T20 Blast score to help rescue Worcestershire Rapids but they eventually went down by seven wickets to Derbyshire Falcons at New Road this evening.

The Rapids keeper-batsman celebrated signing a new four year contract by smashing an unbeaten 59 off just 29 balls with two sixes and seven fours.

He was given excellent support by Matt Henry, whose unbeaten 35 came off only 15 deliveries, in an unbroken eighth wicket stand of 62 in just four overs.

It lifted the Rapids total up to a competitive 185-7 after they had been put into bat.

But Wayne Madsen led a strong Falcons reply with 59 not out off 33 balls as his side reached their target with seven balls to spare.

The Rapids will now look to bounce back from a run of three defeats and one no result in their last four games with qualification for the quarter-finals still up for grabs.

Worcestershire, who had not arrived back from yesterday's T20 Blast clash at Durham until 3.30am, lost four wickets inside the first four overs to Jimmy Neesham and Andy Carter.

Neesham had home skipper Daryl Mitchell (0) caught behind and Tom Kohler-Cadmore (24) around the corner at leg slip.

Carter struck twice in his first over as Alexei Kervezee (1) fended a delivery to the keeper and Joe Clarke (7) top edged a catch to third man.

Former Derbyshire player Ross Whiteley (18) hit one typically massive six off Neesham but then fell at long off in Alex Hughes' first over and the same player accounted for Brett D'Oliveira (17) at short fine leg.

Leach (13) helped Cox add 44 before he was bowled and became a third victim of Alex Hughes who finished with T20 Best figures of 3-23.

But then came the Cox-Henry onslaught to revive the Rapids hopes.

Fit again skipper Wes Durston set the tone for the Falcons reply with 32 from 19 deliveries in an opening stand of 48 in five overs with Hamish Rutherford.

He eventually heaved across the line and was bowled by Henry.

Kyle Abbott on his home debut held onto a fine low catch at long off to see off Rutherford (37) in Leach's first over.

Leach, the leading wicket-taker in the T20 Blast this summer, collected his 18th wicket of the campaign when Neil Broom (6) was caught on the cover boundary.

The Falcons kept up with the necessary run-rate and when the heavens opened at the end of the 15th over they had reached 130-3 having inched ahead of the Duckworth Lewis total of 128.

The weather relented and the players returned but Chesney Hughes and Madsen pressed the accelerater to see the Falcons home.

Madsen took over the mantle of chief aggressor and reached his half century off 31 balls with three sixes and four fours.

Madsen ended on 59 and Hughes 43 as the pair added an unbroken 97 in nine overs.