By Jake Needham
The Chesterfield festival is always a special event in the calendar of any Derbyshire player.
With the opportunity to play at a ground steeped in the county’s history, and played within the pastoral surrounds of what many cricket lovers consider a cricketing arena of unparalleled natural beauty, it is a time of summer that whet’s the appetite of Derbyshire and opposition players alike.
This week’s fixture is laden with extra significance as it pits Derbyshire, currently 25 points clear in the LV County Championship division 2 table, against Yorkshire, their nearest and most threatening of rivals in the push for supremacy.
‘It’s going to be something special to have 1st against 2nd in the first match after the mid-season break’ said Derbyshire opening bowler Tony Palladino.
‘It’s great to be playing them at Chesterfield as it’s a great chance for their fans to come down and add to the whole atmosphere of the week with it being near to the Yorkshire border.’
‘The last 3-4 weeks hasn’t gone entirely to plan, with the Friends Life t20 campaign, but speaking to the lads, I know they are chomping at the bit to get the whites back on and resume our push for promotion.’
Palladino has been in great form for Derbyshire this summer with 31 wickets at an average under 22, with a memorable hat trick against Leicestershire back in May.
But the London-born swing bowler is under no illusions that this week represents an easy resumption of four day cricket.
‘They came down last year, and have been many people’s favourites to go straight back up. Their strength, I believe, lies in their batting.
‘Guys like Jacques and Bairstow are extremely dangerous, and then there is Joe Root who is just coming off the back of a double hundred, so we’re going to have to be on our game from ball one in the field.
‘I think they have the most batting points in the division, and we have the most bowling points, so that match up is going to have a big bearing on where the game goes.’
The match could have a significant bearing on the promotion race, with Yorkshire looking to narrow the gap at the top.
‘It’s a huge game in that respect.’ Palladino continued.
‘If we can get a positive result against our nearest rivals, we can potentially open up some daylight between us and the chasing pack.’
‘We had a great result at the county ground against Northants to start our championship season off, and if we can do likewise after the break, we’ll be extremely happy.’
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