Derbyshire v Warwickshire at Derby on 24 to 26th September: LV= County Championship: Division One
By John Brown
Derbyshire went into this match knowing that nothing less than a good win against Warwickshire would give them any chance of maintaining their First Division status.
All seemed to be going well when Wayne Madsen won the toss and asked the visitors to bat first on an overcast morning.
Mark Footitt took two early wickets, but Javid was dropped twice before the fifty was reached. Tim Groenewald, Derbyshire’s leading wicket-taker for the season, took four more wickets while Tony Palladino had another victim to reduce Warwickshire to 148 for seven in the fiftieth over.
By now the sun was out, the ball was softer and conditions for batting seemed to be easier. Patel joined Chris Woakes and together this pair added 69 for the eighth wicket. When Warwickshire’s eighth wicket fell at 217, Derbyshire still seemed to be nicely placed, especially as Warwickshire’s last two batsmen were considered to be genuine tail-enders.
But Chambers, on loan from Essex, concentrated on defence and he stayed with Woakes until the close, by which time Warwickshire had reached 285 for eight. Woakes was dropped from an easy chance when he had reached 83 with the score on 271, but it was not realised at the time how significant this lapse might be.
On the second day play was unexpectedly delayed by rain until 1pm, after which the Warwickshire pair proved most difficult to dislodge. They stayed together for another ninety-five minutes before Chambers gave David Wainwright the charge and was stumped after reaching his maiden first-class fifty (158 balls). Woakes went on to record his own career-best score (152 not out), made from 273 balls.
This pair’s partnership was not only the best for the eighth wicket in matches between the two counties (beating the previous record set in 1925), but it was the highest ever for that wicket at the County Ground.
By the time Warwickshire declared, much of Derbyshire’s elation and optimism for a successful outcome had been dispelled. They were left with forty-five overs batting before the close but, faced with a strong seam attack in unpleasant conditions, they lost their first four wickets in eight overs for only fourteen runs. This was a situation from which they were unlikely to recover, and there was some relief in the Derbyshire ranks when the umpires called a halt for bad light after only twenty-one overs had been bowled.
The score was 44 for five with Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Tom Poynton the two not out overnight batsmen. This pair continued on the third morning and they took their stand to 49 before Chanderpaul was dismissed just after completing his fifty from 97 balls with ten fours. Derbyshire’s innings finished when Palladino retired after being hit a nasty blow on the hand.
Warwickshire enforced the follow-on twenty minutes before lunch and Derbyshire lost their first wicket shortly before the interval. At this point Wayne Madsen, suffering from the after-effects of food-poisoning, was presented with the Derbyshire members’ Player of the Year award, but he was out soon after the resumption.
Thereafter, faced again by the strong seam attack, Derbyshire showed little resistance, although Poynton again showed more fight than most. He hit 41 at about a run a ball, including the only six of the match, but Derbyshire were all out for 120, thus losing a match in which they had promised so much by a comfortable margin.
For much of the season relegation had seemed a foregone conclusion, but they had a golden patch from the end of July during which time they showed that they were capable of competing with the best, and they so nearly put themselves in a position from which they could have survived.
This successful spell must give the players confidence for the start of next season when they must surely be amongst the favourites for a return to the top flight.
Warwickshire 391 for 9 dec (124 overs) (CR Woakes 152*, MA Chambers 56, A Javid 46, JS Patel 40, R Clarke 22; TD Groenewald 4 for 92, MHA Footitt 2 for 98)
Derbyshire 103 (43.2 overs) (S Chanderpaul 52; KHD Barker 5 for 55, MA Chambers 3 for 27) and 120 (29.1 overs) (T Poynton 41; CR Woakes 3 for 36, JS Patel 2 for 1, WB Rankin 2 for 16)
Warwickshire (22 points) beat Derbyshire (2) by an innings and 168 runs
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