The context of the local derby fixture could not be more fascinating with both sides battling for promotion from Division Two as the business end of the season approaches.
Derbyshire have enjoyed an excellent first half to the campaign having established a 25-point lead over second-placed Yorkshire with seven matches to go.
Derbyshire return to LV=County Championship action this Wednesday, July 18th, in what is arguably the county’s most important four day match in years.
With the White Rose county relegated from the top tier of the domestic game in 2011, the prospect of an LV=County Championship encounter at Queen’s Park, Chesterfield, was always a mouth-watering proposition.
However the current context could not be more fascinating, with both sides battling for promotion from Division Two as the business end of the season approaches.
Usman Khawaja hit a maiden one-day century for the Falcons as the hosts began the Chesterfield Festival of Cricket with a 35 run win over the Unicorns at Queen's Park.
The Australian Test international was in fine form, hitting 104 after Derbyshire had lost the toss and asked to bat first; the hosts reaching 235-7 before a Mark Turner-inspired Derbyshire bowled the visitors out for 200.
The Falcons began brightly with openers Chesney Hughes and Khawaja looking comfortable at the crease; the pair progressing the Derbyshire score to 50 without loss after ten overs.
Poynton, who has missed the last two games, had further scans this week and remains a doubt ahead of the forthcoming Chesterfield Festival of Cricket which takes place this week.
“Tom's injury is taking slightly longer to recover than first anticipated,” Head Coach Karl Krikken explained.
“Chris Durham has already come in and done a good job for us. However, we felt it would be wise to add a little more experience in this critical area of the squad ahead of a busy period of cricket."
The Falcons had earlier reduced the hosts to 220-8 from their 40 overs before reaching 19-2 before the rain came.
Having won the toss, the Falcons opted to bowl first and the decision looked a good one with openers Kyle Coetzer (9) and David Willey (21) dismissed by Mark Turner inside the first ten overs; the latter caught at the wicket to give Chris Durham his first victim in CB40 cricket.
The headline show of five days versus Yorkshire may be still to come – but Derbyshire Head Coach Karl Krikken is anticipating an entertaining Chesterfield Festival opener versus the Unicorns this Sunday (1.45pm start).
Krikken believes Queen’s Park is the perfect setting for limited-overs cricket and he’s determined to start the festival with a bang.
“We’re all looking forward to an exciting week of cricket and it’s the Unicorns first up,” he said.
“They will be our immediate focus; they’ve surprised counties in the past and we’re determined it won’t happen to us on Sunday.
Former Derbyshire batsman Michael Di Venuto has announced his retirement from first-class cricket with immediate effect.
The 38-year-old left-hander spent six seasons as overseas player at the County Ground between 2000 to 2006. He scored 7,256 first-class runs at an average of 49.02 with 19 centuries.
Also scoring a further eight centuries and 20 fifties in the limited-overs forms of the game during his time with Derbyshire, Di Venuto enjoyed a successful Sheffield Shield career with Tasmania and went on to be a resounding success with Durham after departing the County Ground in 2006.
Di Venuto retires with nine One Day International caps for Australia and an overall first-class record of 25,200 runs at an average of 45.90. He scored 60 hundreds and 156 fifties in the four day arena.
The Chesterfield Festival of Cricket, played at arguably County Cricket's most picturesque location of all, starts this coming Sunday.
Derbyshire’s visits to Queen’s Park are always eagerly anticipated by all connected with the club, however given the county’s current position at the summit of the LV=County Championship Division Two table, the Chesterfield Festival of Cricket takes on added significance.
If the return of LV=County Championship cricket after a break for the Friends Life t20 campaign isn’t mouth-watering enough, the prospect of doing battle with Yorkshire adds even more spice.
England will begin with a game against hosts Australia in Townsville on 11th August before playing Ireland and Nepal in the other group stage matches.
If England progress in the competition they could then go on to face one of twelve other countries in the latter stages competing in the U19 World Cup.
The squad was selected by the England Development Programme selectors including David Graveney (EDP Head Selector), Tim Boon (Head Coach), John Abrahams and Iain Brunnschweiler.
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