Derbyshire v Durham at Derby on 11 to 14th September: LV= County Championship: Division 1
By John Brown
Derbyshire went into this match knowing that it was likely to prove crucial in whether or not they would remain in the First Division in 2014.
They fielded an unchanged team from that which had beaten Somerset so narrowly in their previous match. Durham, the championship leaders and favourites to take the title, won the toss and asked Derbyshire to bat first.
When Derbyshire reached lunch on the first day having lost only one wicket, Durham were probably having second thoughts about their decision to bowl first. There was only time for one over after the lunch interval before the rain came and finished play for the day with Derbyshire on 99 for one.
Paul Borrington and Wayne Madsen had added 67 together when Madsen was out to the first ball he faced on the second morning. Now Shivnarine Chanderpaul joined Borrington and they batted with good sense and control as they took Derbyshire to a position of some strength. With the score on 206 for two Chanderpaul (128 balls) edged a ball to slip, and this brought in Richard Johnson who stayed with Borrington until the new ball was taken after eighty overs at 236 for three.
Now Onions and Rushworth took four wickets in the space of four overs and suddenly Derbyshire were no longer in the dominating position they had built earlier. Borrington was caught at slip after making a thoroughly workmanlike 75 (226 balls), and Johnson followed shortly afterwards. David Wainwright and Tony Palladino took the score from 248 for seven to 290, but then they were both out leaving the last pair to try to make ten runs to earn what might prove to be a vital third batting bonus point.
For the second successive match Derbyshire lost their last wicket at 298, and thus missed out on that bonus point which they were seeking. Onions and Rushworth took nine wickets between them and it was significant that no overs were bowled by their spinners.
Durham had twenty overs to bat before the close on the second day, and they lost two wickets for 82 in doing so. Next morning Borthwick and Smith batted through to lunch and for another ninety minutes beyond. When Borthwick was out, well caught low down at mid-on by Tim Groenewald off the occasional spin of Chanderpaul, they had added 159 together for the third wicket.
Smith followed soon afterwards, but Richardson and Collingwood stayed until bad light and rain brought an early close at just after four o’clock – Durham 257 for four. During the afternoon Wainwright had bowled a very economic spell during which he conceded only 19 runs from his fourteen overs.
There were only 15.5 overs left for bonus points to be earned on the last day: Durham batted with care to ensure that they achieved their third batting point, but Derbyshire just missed out on their third bowling point. Eventually Durham were all out for 325, a lead of only twenty-seven on first innings. Palladino had been the pick of the Derbyshire bowlers as he finished with six wickets for 90. In addition there were two run outs following good throws from Wainwright and Mark Footitt.
Derbyshire batted for thirty minutes before lunch, but they lost their first wicket for 22 runs. The game looked to be heading for a draw, but there followed one of those unexpected, almost inexplicable, passages of play which saw Derbyshire slump from 26 for one to an all-out total of 63. Graham Onions bowled right through the innings to take five wickets for 23.
This was very disappointing for all those with the interests of Derbyshire at heart, especially as the news had come in that Somerset, their chief rivals for a relegation spot, had beaten Surrey at Taunton. After an early tea interval Durham took fewer than eight overs to score the 37 runs they needed to win and they lost only one wicket in doing so.
This extended Durham’s lead at the top of the championship, such that they looked very firm favourites to take the title. Derbyshire, on the other hand, would now need to beat Warwickshire in their one remaining match and hope that Somerset would lose their corresponding game if they were to have any hope of staying in the First Division.
Derbyshire 298 (104.1 overs) (PM Borrington 75, S Chanderpaul 53, WL Madsen 32, RM Johnson 29, AP Palladino 22; C Rushworth 5 for 47, G Onions 4 for 62) and 63 (29.1 overs) (G Onions 5 for 23, C Rushworth 3 for 31, U Arshad 2 for 2)
Durham 325 (113.3 overs) (SG Borthwick 89, WR Smith 81, MD Stoneman 30, PD Collingwood 25, MJ Richardson 23, P Mustard 23*; AP Palladino 6 for 90) and 37 for 1 (7.5 overs)
Durham (22 points) beat Derbyshire (4) by 9 wickets
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