Hampshire v Derbyshire at Southampton on 1 to 4 June: LV= County Championship: Division Two
By John Brown
Derbyshire travelled south for the return match with Hampshire and, on winning the toss, Wayne Madsen asked Hampshire to bat first on a green-looking pitch.
Hampshire’s openers soon showed that the pitch was not going to be as helpful to the seam bowlers as had been expected as they took their team to 110 without loss before lunch.
Derbyshire were given fresh hope when Tony Palladino dismissed Adams with the first ball after the interval and then took two more wickets in his next two overs. Hampshire were now 118 for three, but Smith and Wheater, who was dropped behind the wicket when he had scored only six, steadied things as they added 109 for the fourth wicket. Although Palladino broke this partnership at 227, Hampshire continued to add runs, with useful contributions coming from Ervine and Bates.
The home team had reached 332 for seven by the close and they continued for just over an hour on the second morning to take their final total to 388. Derbyshire took their ninth wicket just in time to earn a third bowling point, although their over-rate had been such that they would need to improve that rate in the second innings if they were to avoid the frustration of being deducted two of those bowling points.
Derbyshire were made to work hard for their runs, but, despite the loss of Borrington at 36, Stephen Moore and Madsen seemed to be steering them in the right direction. At 69, however, Madsen received a ball which bounced awkwardly from a length to be caught at slip, and Moore and Marcus North both fell lbw with the score on 101. Two of Derbyshire’s younger recruits in Scott Elstone and Alex Hughes fought hard to add 59 together, but they both fell to the left-arm spin of Briggs before the close when Derbyshire found themselves in the precarious position of 166 for seven.
When their eighth wicket fell at 180, there was much anxiety that Derbyshire might be asked to follow-on and perhaps not have the opportunity of improving their over-rate. Palladino and Tim Groenewald came together with 59 runs still needed to rescue the situation. Palladino was in particularly good touch and the pair stayed together for almost fifteen overs to take their ninth wicket partnership to an invaluable 65 before Groenewald was run out following an ambitious call by his partner who had just completed a thoroughly well-deserved fifty from 82 balls.
Derbyshire were eventually all out for 257, thus conceding a first innings deficit of 131 to Hampshire, for whom spinner Briggs had taken five wickets for 50. Hampshire survived five overs before lunch, after which Palladino again took a wicket with his first ball. Thereafter, however, Hampshire batted with increasing freedom, so that they were able to declare, thus setting Derbyshire a target of 346 runs to win from a nominal minimum of 108 overs. Elstone had his first bowl in first-class cricket and took two wickets.
Moore and Borrington made 31 without loss from the fourteen overs they were required to face before the close of the third day. The forecast overnight rain duly arrived, so play was delayed with no play being possible before lunch. The umpires eventually decided that play could resume at 2.30pm with a minimum of 51 overs still to be bowled. The pitch seemed to have livened up by the moisture, and Derbyshire lost five wickets in ten overs while only eleven runs were added. Tea was taken with the score on 51 for 5. Another wicket fell almost straightaway after the interval and then Hughes and David Wainwright defended stoutly until Briggs captured two lbw decisions in quick succession.
The last hour began at 5.10, and then came some unexpected drama: after two balls of the last hour a heavy squall drove the players from the field, and eight overs were lost before play could resume. 2.4 of these overs were bowled when the umpires decided that the light was so bad that they took the players off again, this time telling them that the match was over. Within a few more minutes a thunderstorm accompanied by hail passed over and it showed that the umpires’ decision had been right. So Derbyshire emerged with ten points and Hampshire with twelve.
Derbyshire’s next championship match is the postponed match with Leicestershire at Grace Road, starting next Sunday.
Hampshire 388 (110.5 overs) (AJA Wheater 87, WR Smith 82, JHK Adams 60, MD Bates 50, SM Ervine 47; AP Palladino 4 for 87, MHA Footitt 3 for 91, TD Groenewald 3 for 95) and 214 for 5 dec (56 overs) (JHK Adams 67, JM Vince 40, JS Gatting 39, SM Ervine 32*; SL Elstone 2 for 33, DJ Wainwright 2 for 91)
Derbyshire 257 (102.3 overs) (AP Palladino 60*, SC Moore 53, AL Hughes 32, SL Elstone 25, TD Groenewald 23, WL Madsen 21; DR Briggs 5 for 50, KJ Abbott 3 for 48) and 107 for 8 (52 overs) (SC Moore25, DJ Wainwright 22; JA Tomlinson 3 for 16 , DR Briggs 2 for 22, MT Coles 2 for 22, )
Derbyshire (10 points) drew with Hampshire (12)
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