Derbyshire v Durham MCCU at Derby on 5th , 6th and 7th June: Non First-Class match
By John Brown
Derbyshire picked only three of the team which had played in the recent championship match with Surrey for this game. One of these was Wes Durston who captained Derbyshire – he lost the toss, but Derbyshire were asked to bat first on a mainly grey day.
Billy Godleman (45 balls) was unusually free-scoring and, together with Paul Borrington, set Derbyshire on their way to a large total. They were both out in quick succession – 72 for 2 – before Ben Slater, newly-promoted from the Second eleven, and Durston added 198 in forty-five overs before Durston retired, having faced 132 balls for his 117 (15 fours; 1 six). Slater was more circumspect but he too followed Durston to a century before retiring at the tea interval for 116 (206 balls; 12 fours).
Alex Hughes made an enterprising 73 (83 balls) to put Derbyshire in the comfortable position of being able to declare and leave the students forty-five minutes batting before the close. Durham lost three wickets that evening and continued to lose more on the second morning, with Alasdair Evans looking especially awkward to face. When Durham reached 69 for seven, the game looked to be heading for an early finish – perhaps Derbyshire relaxed a bit, but the Durham tail provided more resistance than anyone expected.
They were eventually all out for 229 with their number nine, Freddie van den Bergh, having hit a remarkable 106. Derbyshire had been planning to enforce the follow-on, but this late resistance changed the plans and they decided instead to use their second innings for more batting practice.
Dan Redfern (91 from 110 balls) and Tom Poynton (77 from 77 balls) were the two batsmen who made the most of this opportunity and Derbyshire were able to declare a second time leaving Durham the unlikely target of 432 runs to win.
By the close on the second day Durham had reached 28 for one, and most people were expecting the match to be over by mid-afternoon at the latest. The sun was shining, and the pitch was offering the bowlers very little, so Derbyshire were made to work much harder than they expected. Seven of the Durham batsmen passed twenty and, to their credit, kept playing their shots right to the end, which came during the last hour at 5.45pm when there were fewer than ten overs remaining.
It had turned out to be a much more interesting game of cricket than anyone had anticipated and, although Derbyshire were clearly the stronger team, the students had emerged from the match with much credit.
Derbyshire 436 for 7 dec (94.1 overs) (WJ Durston 117ret, BT Slater 116ret, AL Hughes 73, BA Godleman 49, JL Clare 28*; ME Milnes 92, FOE van den Bergh 2 for 96)
224 for 4 dec (44.5 overs) (DJ Redfern 91, T Poynton 77, PM Borrington 29)
Durham MCCU 229 (62.3 overs) FOE van den Bergh 106, C Bishnoi 27, ME Milnes 25, NAT Watkins 20; AC Evans 4 for 35, PI Burgoyne 3 for 43, JL Clare 2 for 24)
366 (102.4 overs) (C Bishnoi 68, RAC Shah 57, CJ Purshouse 53, IH Hobson 41, OJ Steele 36, NAT Watkins 31, LA Patel 23; WJ Durston 3 for 47, AL Hughes 2 for 33)
Derbyshire won by 65 runs
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