Worcestershire v Derbyshire at New Road, on 27 to 30 April: LV=County Championship: Division Two
By John Brown
The start of this match was delayed by rain and a wet outfield on the first day until 4.30pm when thirty-two overs remained to be bowled.
Wayne Madsen won the toss for Derbyshire and chose to bat first: frustratingly for Derbyshire the two openers were bowled just before more rain fell so play was suspended for the day after only 3.5 overs had been bowled.
On the second morning Madsen and Shivnarine Chanderpaul set about recovering Derbyshire’s position as they added a painstaking 75 in just over thirty overs. At this point Chanderpaul seemed unlucky to be adjudged lbw for 32. Lunch was taken at 78 for three, and within six overs of the interval another three wickets had fallen, all of them resulting from decisions which it was generally agreed might well have gone in the batsmen’s favour on another day.
While Derbyshire were suffering these misfortunes, Madsen was resisting all that the Worcestershire bowlers could produce and he was well supported at first by David Wainwright and Tony Palladino, but more especially by the in-form Tim Groenewald batting at number ten.
Madsen showed complete faith in his junior partner as they put on 56 together for the ninth wicket. When Groenewald was out his team still needed eight runs for a batting point and Mark Footitt proved up to the task with a mixture of luck which brought him two edged fours and a cross-batted heave over long-on for six.
In the circumstances Madsen’s innings was one of his best: with his team up against it and on a pitch which was proving awkward he batted with a calm assurance and thoroughly deserved his hundred which he reached from 228 balls. The recently signed Pakistani off-spinner, Saeed Ajmal, had the best figures for the home county.
Worcestershire had sixteen overs batting on the second evening and their openers batted without much difficulty to the close taken at 31 for no wicket.
Derbyshire’s bowlers made Worcestershire work hard on the third morning, so only 74 runs were scored off thirty-one overs before lunch for the loss of two wickets. After lunch, with the sun out and the pitch seemingly less friendly to the bowlers, the batting tempo increased with Moeen Ali being especially fluent: he hit nine fours and three sixes before he played an unwise shot just before tea in an effort to reach his hundred. Ali had faced 146 balls for his 99 – tea was taken with the score on 241 for four.
The evening session was most definitely Worcestershire’s: Kervezee scored freely against increasingly deep-set fields, while Cox and Andrew both hit well, Andrew’s 71 coming from only 54 balls. Worcestershire closed on 432 for nine and they left it until quite late on the fourth morning before they revealed that they had declared with a lead of 213 runs.
So Derbyshire had a whole day in front of them in which to try and save the game: the morning session did not go as well as they would have hoped as they lost four wickets for 59. The approach after lunch was rather more positive, but the bounce seemed to be less consistent as Durston got a ball which bounced sharply at him from Ajmal while there were two lbws to balls which stayed very low.
Despite any disappointments in this and any other regards, there can be no doubt that Derbyshire were outplayed in this match although the margin of victory was perhaps flattering to Worcestershire.
Derbyshire now have a week without any competitive cricket before they meet Kent in their next championship match at Derby on 11th May.
Derbyshire 219 (81.3 overs) (WL Madsen 111*, S Chanderpaul 32, TD Groenewald 24; S Ajmal 4 for 60, GM Andrew 3 for 46, CAJ Morris 3 for 61) and 149 (57 overs) (WL Madsen 56, WJ Durston 21; S Ajmal 4 for 40, JD Shantry 2 for 20, CAJ Morris 2 for 25)
Worcestershire 432 for 9 dec (112 overs) (AN Kervezee 110, MM Ali 99, GM Andrew 71*, MG Pardoe 49, OB Cox 41, DKH Mitchell 26; MHA Footitt 3 for 52, DJ Wainwright 3 for 102, AP Palladino 2 for 52)
Worcestershire (24 points) beat Derbyshire (4) by an innings and 64 runs
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