Surrey v Derbyshire; 29th, 30th, 31st August, 1st September: LV= County Championship: Division 1
By John Brown
Derbyshire traveled to London knowing that this match with bottom club Surrey was likely to be one of the most crucial of the season.
Wayne Madsen won the toss on a hot sunny day and chose to bat first. It was soon clear that run-scoring was not going to be easy on this pitch and Derbyshire’s batsmen were made to battle hard after the loss of a wicket in the first over.
Paul Borrington and Shivnarine Chanderpaul added 49 together for the third wicket and, although seven players reached double figures,no-one was able to go on and make a telling contribution. Tom Poynton and David Wainwright worked hard to ensure that Derbyshire achieved one batting point, but an all-out total of 219 was probably about a hundred runs short of what they might realistically have expected to score.
Surrey faced four overs before the close and Burns was lucky to survive a catch at the wicket appeal off Mark Footitt. Next morning Footitt bowled with pace and fire and he thoroughly deserved his two wickets including the prize one of Hashim Amla who had been signed by Surrey for the last few games of the season. A third wicket fell before lunch which Surrey took at 97 for three.
There followed a spell after lunch when Vikram Solanki and Zander de Bruyn scored much more freely than at any other time during the match, but accurate spells from Wainwright and Peter Burgoyne brought things under control again. Wainwright dismissed both the batsmen who were scoring runs and followed with a third to leave Surrey on 240 for six. There followed an irritating partnership of 47 with Batty the dominant partner, but the new ball saw the last four wickets fall to Footitt and Matt Higginbottom in thirteen balls while two runs were added.
With a first innings deficit of seventy Derbyshire realised that they were going to have to bat well if they were to give themselves any chance of winning the match. It was felt that, with the unpredictable nature of the pitch, a target of anything approaching 200 in the fourth innings would be a difficult task. Ben Slater and Paul Borrington survived the seven overs remaining on the second evening and they continued for as long again the next morning before Slater was caught from a leading edge.
Madsen joined Borrington, but he was almost immediately struck a nasty blow on the head from a ball which reared from a length and to which he was playing forward. To his great credit Madsen continued and it was not until twenty-six overs had passed before Borrington, playing his first championship match of the season, was bowled by a good one from Linley.The innings continued with first Chanderpaul and then Johnson playing with great determination for more than two hours between them. Chanderpaul seemed unlucky to be given out, the latest in a series of decisions in which it seems the fates have been against him.
The situation for Derbyshire at tea looked quite promising with the score on 154 for three and Madsen and Johnson seemingly well set.Madsen had reached his fifty from 137 balls with 5 fours. The next seven overs saw the loss of three wickets, however, and there were fears among the pessimists that the match might be finished on the third day. A seventh wicket fell so it was left to Poynton and Wainwrigh,t again, to play out a tense eighteen overs before the close – 231 for seven giving Derbyshire a lead of 161 with three wickets standing.
The first hour on the fourth morning was likely to be crucial and Poynton and Wainwright did all that could be asked of them in that time. The skill they showed on an awkward pitch, their spirit and resolve were exemplar,y and it took a brute of a ball from Batty which jumped from a length to lob off Poynton’s gloves to end the stand of 93 made in almost thirty-five overs. Poynton had faced 141 balls (6 fours) for his 49, worth many more than that mere total.
Wainwright reached his well-earned fifty from 103 balls (3 fours) and he finished with his second not out innings of the match. Surrey were left with seven overs batting before lunch as they set off on their quest to score 217 runs to win from a minimum of 73 overs.
Derbyshire could hardly have had a better start as they dismissed both openers before the interval taken at 11 for two. The first of these wickets was a wonderful diving catch taken by Madsen at short mid-off off the bowling of Footitt, while the second was a straightforward catch at slip off Matt Higginbottom.
After the interval Amla and Solanki set about ensuring that Surrey’s target was brought within reach, but with the score on 60 for two Amla was dropped from a firm drive to short extra-cover when he had scored 24. This was off the bowling of the excellent Wainwright who, in his very next over, saw Amla miscue an attempted lofted off-drive into a gap over extra-cover: it was generally felt that the man coming in from the boundary should have been able to get his hands to the ball, but he seemed distracted by the fielder running back from extra-cove and the ball fell safely.
These escapes for Amla were to prove crucial and, although Wainwright, in particular, bowled superbly, the result all Derbyshire supporters were looking for and which their players deserved as a result of their fighting spirit, was not to be, Surrey were made to fight right to the end, but they won their first championship match of the season by four wickets with just six overs remaining.
So Derbyshire slipped back to the foot of the table and they travel to Taunton where another match with fellow relegation-threatened candidates, Somerset, starts in only two days’ time.
Derbyshire 219 (89.5 overs) (S Chanderpaul 46, T Poynton 37, PM Borrington 32, RM Johnson 23; TE Linley 4 for 59, GA Edwards 3 for 29)
286 (123.1 overs) (WL Madsen 59, DJ Wainwright 54*, T Poynton 49, PM Borrington 38, RM Johnson 27; GJ Batty 5 for 71, CT Tremlett 2 for 41)
Surrey 289 (90.5 overs) (VS Solanki 93, Z de Bruyn 40, GJ Batty 35, SM Davies 29, RJ Burns 24; MHA Footitt 4 for 50, DJ Wainwright 3 for 46, , M Higginbottom 2 for 66)
218 for 6 (66.4 overs) (HM Amla 88, VS Solanki 44, Z de Bruyn 31; MHA Footitt 2 for 52, DJ Wainwright 2 for 72)
Surrey (21 points) beat Derbyshire (4) by 4 wickets
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