Surrey v Derbyshire at The Oval on 12 to 14 September: LV County Championship: Division 2
Report by: John Brown
Match Result: Surrey (24 points) beat Derbyshire (2) by an innings and 126 runs
Derbyshire finished their season with a match against Surrey who needed to win if they were to have a chance of gaining promotion to the First Division. It seemed that the cricketing fates were on Surrey’s side and against Derbyshire (and Northamptonshire!) right from the start.
Surrey won the toss and chose to bat first, a piece of fortune which was to prove very important as the match progressed. Derbyshire started well with a wicket apiece for Mark Footitt and Tim Groenewald, the latter clean bowling the prolific Ramprakash (for nought) for the fifth time in his career. Davies was dropped at slip when he had scored only 19 so he and de Bruyn were able to add 120 together for the third wicket.
Maynard joined Davies, but after another seven overs Wes Durston trapped Davies lbw. This brought in Roy who played aggressively in helping Maynard to add 97 in 19 overs. Twice during this stand, however, Derbyshire clearly felt that they had had Maynard caught in the gully off Footitt and at the wicket off Tom Knight. The umpire did not agree and so Maynard survived to lead his team towards a score which would earn his team maximum batting points. Just to add to Derbyshire’s woes, Footitt bowled Meaker when he had scored only four, but he had overstepped the crease and it was a No ball.
Maynard was eighth out at 382 five overs before the close on the first day. Derbyshire were further frustrated on the second morning when Meaker and Linley took their ninth wicket stand to 73.
Derbyshire started badly as they lost their first four wickets for only 28 and, although Ross Whiteley played some good shots in his 24, when he was caught at the wicket at 62 for five, it seemed that the team would subside quickly. Paul Borrington, playing only his second match of the season, had seen all five wickets falling at the other end and now he was joined by skipper Luke Sutton who was also in determined mood.
This pair were faced with spin bowling and close-set fields for most of their two hours together and they added ninety runs for the sixth wicket before Sutton fell to the second ball of a new spell by Jordan. Jon Clare hit nineteen off Jordan’s next over, but he was out lbw when he aimed a sweep at Surrey’s recent international import, Ohja, who had been brought in for the last three matches of the season.
The close came with Derbyshire on a disappointing 177 for seven, but Borrington had made a significant contribution with 76 not out: he had played the spin and faster bowlers with skill and concentration, so it came as something of a surprise on the third morning when he was stumped in playing defensively at Ojha for a fine 87, worth more than many a hundred. After only one more ball Borrington was strapping on his pads again as Surrey asked Derbyshire to follow on 283 runs behind.
In their second innings, during which Ohja showed his pedigree with an excellent spell of accurate left-arm spin on a pitch which was by now showing an unusual amount of turn and bounce, Derbyshire struggled and slipped towards what seemed the inevitable huge defeat. Despite a late onslaught by Groenewald, Knight and Footitt who hit six sixes between them, Derbyshire were eventually bowled out for 152, so Surrey had comfortably won the match by an innings.
It was little comfort to be told by the umpires that the pitch had deteriorated to such an extent that, if Derbyshire had been able to bat first, then the outcome might well have been reversed. Derbyshire finished the season in fifth position in the Second Division while Surrey managed to scrape into a promotion spot, just one point above Northamptonshire.
Surrey 468 (117 overs) (TL Maynard 123, SM Davies 73, Z de Bruyn 61, SC Meaker 55*, JJ Roy 45, TE Linley 21; MHA Footitt 3 for 99, WJ Durston 3 for 100, TD Groenewald 2 for 74) Derbyshire 190 (81.2 overs) (PM Borrington 87, LD Sutton 32, RA Whiteley 24, JL Clare 21; PP Ojha 4 for 48, TE Linley 3 for 34) and 152 (44.3 overs) (TD Groenewald 33*; PP Ojha 6 for 42, SC Meaker 2 for 38) Surrey (24 points) beat Derbyshire (2) by an innings and 126 runs
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