Derbyshire v Surrey at Derby on 15 to 18 June: LV= County Championship: Division Two
By John Brown
Following their win in the previous match with Leicestershire, Derbyshire went into this match with increased confidence and hopes that they would be able to continue their improved performance into the next few matches. Wayne Madsen won the toss and chose to bat first on a pitch which was hard and expected to favour batsmen.
Unfortunately for Derbyshire the overhead conditions were helpful to swing bowlers and the conditions probably deteriorated during the day. The early batsmen were made to work hard for their runs, and they struggled to reach 77 for three before lunch. After about half-an-hour after the interval, Dernbach had a golden spell when he took three wickets in eight balls, one of them being that of Marcus North who had looked sounder than most in his sixty-seven ball 44.
Thereafter Gareth Cross played a few strong strokes, but Derbyshire were dismissed for a very disappointing 153, with Tom Curran having taken a career-best five for 51.
Mark Footitt struck with the second ball of the Surrey innings, but they survived for the rest of the day which was curtailed by bad light (34 overs lost in all) to finish on 44 for one. Tom Taylor took his first first-class wicket when he trapped Hashim Amla lbw, but Ansari continued to bat doggedly while his new partner, Solanki, played with much more flair to reach his fifty from fifty-nine balls. Davies joined Ansari and together they added 140 for the fourth wicket – by now it was clear that conditions were much better for batting, but Derbyshire’s bowlers persevered in difficult circumstances.
SECOND XI: Derbyshire v Durham at Ticknall CC, on 16 June: Second XI One-Day Trophy
Wes Durston hit a half-century and Matt Higginbottom impressed with the ball, but Durham Second XI claimed a narrow two-wicket win in the One-Day Trophy fixture at Ticknall CC.
After winning the toss and electing to bat first, Durston topscored with 59 off 70 balls (5 fours, 2 sixes), while Chesney Hughes hit 46 off 38 balls (5 fours, 2 sixes) and Tom Wood added 41 off 51 balls (4 fours).
But five wickets for Matt Milnes (5-39)and three for Gareth Breese (3-46) helped dismiss the hosts for 243 in 47.5 overs.
Calum McLeod led the Durham reply with 90 off 138 balls (7 fours), but Derbyshire responded through Higginbottom who was the pick of the bowlers with figures of 2-23 off his 10 overs, while Ben Cotton (2-51) also claimed two scalps.
But 39 off 48 balls from Ryan Buckley saw the visitors home in the penultimate over, with Durham 244-8.
Leicestershire v Derbyshire at Grace Road, Leicester on 8 to 11 June: LV= County Championship: Division Two
By John Brown
Derbyshire made the short journey for this fixture versus Leicestershire.The home team won the toss and chose to bat first, but they must have wondered whether they had made the right decision when they slipped quickly to 11 for three in the third over.
Mark Footitt and Tony Palladino responded with some aggressive new-ball bowling. Cobb joined Eckersley and was so nearly caught at mid-off which would have made the score 17 for four, but David Wainwright was just unable to cling on to a diving effort. This pair gradually established themselves and they had added 100 together before they were both out in quick succession.
With the score on 113 for five, Derbyshire had every reason to feel pleased with themselves, but two good stands rescued Leicestershire and helped to take them past three hundred with three batting bonus points. Footitt finished with six wickets and Palladino four.
Stephen Moore and Paul Borrington stayed together until the close, taken after nine overs with the score on twelve for no wicket. The Leicestershire seamers continued to make runs hard to come by on the second day, so it was not until the forty-fourth over that Derbyshire reached one hundred. They were at their lowest point when the score slumped to 115 for six, but Alex Hughes continued his good run of form together with Wainwright who showed his usual fighting qualities.
Hampshire v Derbyshire at Southampton on 1 to 4 June: LV= County Championship: Division Two
By John Brown
Derbyshire travelled south for the return match with Hampshire and, on winning the toss, Wayne Madsen asked Hampshire to bat first on a green-looking pitch.
Hampshire’s openers soon showed that the pitch was not going to be as helpful to the seam bowlers as had been expected as they took their team to 110 without loss before lunch.
Derbyshire were given fresh hope when Tony Palladino dismissed Adams with the first ball after the interval and then took two more wickets in his next two overs. Hampshire were now 118 for three, but Smith and Wheater, who was dropped behind the wicket when he had scored only six, steadied things as they added 109 for the fourth wicket. Although Palladino broke this partnership at 227, Hampshire continued to add runs, with useful contributions coming from Ervine and Bates.
The home team had reached 332 for seven by the close and they continued for just over an hour on the second morning to take their final total to 388. Derbyshire took their ninth wicket just in time to earn a third bowling point, although their over-rate had been such that they would need to improve that rate in the second innings if they were to avoid the frustration of being deducted two of those bowling points.
Northamptonshire v Derbyshire at Stowe School on 27 May: Second XI 3-Day Friendly
Paul Borrington hit a century, but no result was possible after heavy rain washed out the majority of the three-day friendly against Northamptonshire at Stowe School.
Rain washed away the opening two days, but with an improved forecast for the final day, a 40-over match was agreed between the two sides.
Derbyshire posted 247 off their 40 overs, with Borrington top scoring with 100 while Ben Slater added 74.
Northamptonshire reached 127-3 in reply before rain returned and the match was abandoned with no result possible.
Derbyshire v Gloucestershire at Derby on 25 to 28 May: LV= County Championship: Division Two
By John Brown
Heavy overnight rain delayed the start of this championship match, but conditions improved enough for play to begin at 1.45pm on the first day. Gloucestershire won the toss and chose to field first and they were rewarded with a wicket in the second over.
Paul Borrington and Wayne Madsen then battled hard on a slow pitch to take Derbyshire to tea at 74 for one. In only three overs after the interval, however, both Borrington and Madsen had gone, Borrington to an unfortunate run out after he was sent back late while considering a third run. The battle for survival continued, but wickets fell regularly to reduce Derbyshire to 153 for six.
Scott Elstone, playing only his second first-class match, looked more assured than most and he was still there at the close with Derbyshire on 166 for six.
Elstone had been joined by David Wainwright and on the second morning this pair played very well together to take their partnership to seventy from twenty-seven overs before Elstone fell lbw after scoring his maiden first-class fifty from 122 balls.
Cricket Derbyshire Academy secured a 42-run victory against Yorkshire Academy in a 50-over friendly at Staveley Cricket Club.
After electing to bat, the Cricket Derbyshire Academy in partnership with the University of Derby made an excellent start to their innings with Wood and Ball putting on an opening partnership of 73.
Wood was finally LBW to Karl Carver for 41. Stumper Ball then shared a partnership of 28 with Ali. Skipper Ryan Gibson introduced himself to the attack and clean bowled Greg Cork and one run later Brown played back to a low ball and was caught in front LBW.
This brought the score to 108 for 4. It meant that Gibson had taken three wickets in 11 balls. The Academy failed to consolidate their success. Ali and the experienced Tom Knight shared a partnership of 47, with Matt Waite ending the partnership clean bowling Ali. It was a patient innings which held Derbyshire’s batting together. Some lusty blows by Knight and Cotton pushed the score on to 223 for 6. At one stage it looked unlikely that Derbyshire would reach 200.
Leicestershire v Derbyshire at Grace Road on 16 May: NatWest T20 Bash: North Division
By John Brown
Derbyshire started their T20 campaign on a fine evening at Leicester and they were pleased to welcome Marcus North as their overseas player as he arrived to take the place of Shivnarine Chanderpaul who is leaving for several weeks on international duty.
Wayne Madsen won the toss and chose to field first. Mark Footitt responded by taking a wicket with the second ball of the match, but Cobb and Smith played their shots to bring up Leicestershire’s fifty after five overs. The introduction of spinners Wes Durston and Chesney Hughes slowed the home team’s progress to some extent, but the run-rate was always likely to provide Derbyshire with a challenging total.
Scott Styris, playing his first match of the season for Leicestershire, batted steadily at first, but once he had decided to launch his attack there was little that Derbyshire’s bowlers could do to stop him. He hit seven fours and three sixes in his unbeaten 63, with the last fifty-six of them coming from twenty-three balls.
Derbyshire v Kent at Derby on 11 to 14 May: LV=County Championship: Division Two
By John Brown
Play was due to start on time on the first day of Derbyshire’s fourth championship match of the season but, after Kent had won the toss and chosen to field first, the rain started and the start was delayed.
There were several attempts to play during the day, but regular showers ruled that possibility out and at 3.45pm the umpires decided that there could be no play on the first day.
The miserable weather continued on the second day so it came as something of a surprise when play was able to get under way at 2.35pm. Derbyshire had made four changes from their previous team which had failed to perform as expected against Worcestershire: Scott Elstone came in for his first-class debut after scoring a double-hundred in his previous second XI match; Alex Hughes came in for his namesake, Chesney; Paul Borrington had made two hundreds recently so came in to open the batting, while Gareth Cross, recently of Lancashire, was selected as Derbyshire’s third wicket-keeper of the season.
They started badly against the seam attack of Australian Doug Bollinger and later the consistent medium-pace of Darren Stevens. After twenty-two overs they had reached 38 for the loss of the top four batsmen in the order.
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