Yorkshire v Derbyshire at Headingley on 29th April to 2nd May: LV= County Championship: Division 1
By John Brown
This proved to be one of the more memorable matches in Derbyshire’s long history, although not necessarily for the best of reasons.
After a rain-delayed start of forty-five minutes, Wayne Madsen lost the toss for the fourth time in four matches and, for the fourth time, Derbyshire were asked to bat first. This did not seem such a bad thing when Chesney Hughes, just recalled to the 1st XI after impressing while on duty for the seconds, and Madsen took Derbyshire to Lunch at 89 for one.
The situation looked even better at Tea when the score had reached 204, still for the loss of only one wicket. Hughes had already passed his hundred (160 balls) while Madsen was on 70. It was not until this pair had added 258 for the second wicket that Madsen was dismissed seven runs short of his own century. Two more wickets fell before the close, but Hughes was still there unbeaten on 171.
A fifth wicket soon fell on the second morning, but David Wainwright stayed with Hughes to add 81. Hughes had now passed his own highest score and reached his double hundred from 328 balls. His driving had been a feature of his innings, as had his judgment in leaving balls passing his off-stump. Tom Poynton and Tony Palladino helped in partnerships of 53 and 33 but, by now, the main interest was to see whether Hughes could break the 117-year old record for the highest-ever score made by a Derbyshire batsman.
Sadly he ran out of partners and fell agonisingly short by five runs. He did, however, emulate Arnold Hamer who was the only other Derbyshire batsman to carry his bat through a completed innings against Yorkshire (1954). It had been a fine effort of stamina and concentration – Hughes had faced 415 balls and batted for eight minutes over nine hours and he had hit forty fours and three sixes. His 270 not out was the highest-ever score made against Yorkshire by a visiting batsman at Headingley.
Derbyshire had good reason to feel satisfied with their total of 475, but it was clear that this was a batsman’s pitch, and that there was plenty of hard work to be done. Derbyshire’s bowlers made Lyth and Root work hard for their runs at first, but Yorkshire were able to go to the close on 164 for one (45 overs).
Next morning, with Wainwright doing the bulk of the work, Derbyshire bowled 35 overs and limited the home team to 87 runs for the loss of two more wickets. This was especially creditable since Palladino had strained a side muscle and was likely to be out of the game for at least five weeks.
With this handicap, and with Hughes also unable to bowl, it was little wonder that Derbyshire’s bowlers wilted as the day went on – Root and Bairstow took full advantage of the benign conditions and the weakened attack as they piled on 134 between lunch and tea without being separated and then they and later Gary Ballance added a further 212 from thirty overs in the evening session. Joe Root had made 236 (336 balls) and Bairstow 186 (193 balls), and they had shared in the highest fourth wicket stand for their county against Derbyshire.
Yorkshire started the fourth morning on 597 for five, and they continued for another ten overs, during which time, despite there being as many as seven fielders on the boundary, they added another 80 runs. Yorkshire declared 202 runs ahead, oddly enough exactly with the same total (and wickets) which they had made against Durham on this ground in 2006.
So Derbyshire were left with the task of batting for up to 84 overs to ensure that they saved the game. They started badly: in the hour which they were required to bat before lunch they lost three wickets for 47.
After the interval Madsen and Wes Durston seemed to be leading them towards safety, but, shortly after reaching his fifty (61 balls), Durston was mortified to be caught high one-handed at square-leg after he had clipped a half-volley sweetly off his legs. Madsen passed his second fifty of the match, but was then lbw to a ball which seemed to dip in late.
Wainwright was bowled on the stroke of tea (157 for six), and it was clear that the late-order batsmen would have to produce something rather special. As it soon emerged that special something came from Yorkshire’s recent import, Jack Brooks from Northants – he took two wickets in the first over after tea, and the rest subsided without being able to provide the necessary resistance.
The last six Derbyshire wickets fell in ten overs while only thirteen runs were added, and Yorkshire had won by a remarkable innings and 39 runs, scarcely imaginable after the earlier heroics by Chesney Hughes,
Having played four championship matches in four weeks, Derbyshire now have a two-week break from this competition, although they play the New Zealand tourists in a three-day match starting on Saturday and the first of their forty over matches on Sunday week. Derbyshire’s next championship match starts on 15th May at Derby and will be against Sussex.
Derbyshire 475 (142 overs) (CF Hughes 270*, WL Madsen 93, T Poynton 27; A Rashid 3 for 122, SA Patterson 2 for 70, LE Plunkett 2 for 86, TT Bresnan 2 for 103)
163 (54.4 overs) (WL Madsen 52, WJ Durston 50; JA Brooks 5 for 40, LE Plunkett 2 for 20, A Rashid 2 for 61)
Yorkshire 677 for 7 dec (151 overs) (JE Root 236, JM Bairstow 186, A Lyth 69, GS Ballance 53, PA Jaques 39, A Rashid 36*, LE Plunkett 21*; TD Groenewald 2 for 142)
Yorkshire (21 points) beat Derbyshire (5) by an innings and 39 runs
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