Derbyshire v Essex at Chesterfield on 7 to 10 July: LV=County Championship: Division Two
By John Brown
The main match in the 2014 Old Speckled Hen Festival of Cricket at Queen’s Park, Chesterfield, was this championship match with Essex.
Wayne Madsen won the toss and chose to bat first on what was expected to be a good batting pitch. Ben Slater, playing his first first-class match of the season on his home club’s ground, and Paul Borrington started well before Borrington was unlucky to be caught down the leg-side.
When lunch was taken at 96 for three, the match seemed in the balance, but it swung Derbyshire’s way when Madsen and Wes Durston, making a welcome return to the first eleven, stayed together throughout the afternoon session.
Durston glanced the first ball of the post-tea session to the fine-leg boundary only to be clattered on the helmet from the next ball, bowled by Napier. He was concussed and took no part in the match for the next two days, but happily he felt fit enough to take part on the fourth day.
Durston’s retirement changed the whole complexion of the game and Derbyshire lost their last six wickets for only 49 runs after they had looked set to reach a score in excess of 350. Madsen had made a fine ninety from 178 balls, while the more aggressive Durston had reached 74 from 118 balls.
Essex had eleven overs batting before the close, and Mark Footitt took his first wicket with the third ball of the innings. The Essex score was 25 for one at the end of the first day. Next morning they lost two more wickets and lunch came with the score on 116 for three.
Nick Browne, the comparatively new opening bat, was joined by Foster and they steadied things as they added 74 in twenty-six overs. Tom Taylor produced another promising performance as he bowled Foster and this was followed by a wicket for Alex Hughes. Now Greg Smith stayed with Browne and this pair were still there at the tea interval with the score 202 for five. Unexpectedly heavy rain prevented any further play on the second day.
After forty minutes of the third morning Tony Palladino took the first of four well-deserved wickets, so Essex were dismissed on the stroke of lunch with a two-run lead over their hosts.
Derbyshire lost a wicket in the first over, but Slater and Madsen stayed together for thirty-seven overs to give their team the ascendancy. Just before tea, after they had added 125 for the second wicket, Madsen was unable to make good his ground after his partner had slipped as he turned for a second run.
Slater fell soon afterwards, so it needed good resistance from Shivnarine Chanderpaul, back from his absence in the Caribbean where he had played in three Test matches against New Zealand.
When Derbyshire slipped to an unpromising 182 for five, it needed another sound innings from David Wainwright to strengthen their position. Derbyshire had reached 237 for five by the close on the third day, a lead of 235 with the game seemingly finely balanced.
Next morning Wainwright was soon caught at the wicket, but Palladino played a crucial innings as he helped the ever-dependable Chanderpaul to add sixty for the seventh wicket: when he fell for 40 (55 balls), Derbyshire were 302 runs ahead and there some people who felt that this was the time for them to have declared. Chanderpaul was disappointingly out just before lunch having made 92 from 171 balls.
Derbyshire chose to bat on until lunch and beyond, and later events might have suggested that they were wise to have done so. Taylor and Durston, batting at number ten, were still there at lunchtime and they added a further thirty in just under four overs before Derbyshire declared. This left Essex a minimum of 61 overs in which to make 367 runs to win.
They started comfortably enough, but Footitt produced a dramatic fourth over in which he captured three wickets in four balls, including international batsmen, Bopara and Ryder, from consecutive balls. The first of these was a fine overhead catch by Durston at second slip. Only two balls later Browne was dropped from a straightforward slip chance, and he took full advantage of his escape. Although Essex had now had to put aside any hopes they might have had of chasing their target, Derbyshire were only able to take one more wicket, that of Foster to Wainwright’s second ball.
Derbyshire maintained the pressure with mainly accurate bowling, but the aggressive ten Doeschate took advantage of the close-set fields as he reached his fifty from only 58 balls. Derbyshire were concerned about their over-rate and this compelled them to use slow bowlers when they might have preferred their wicket-taking seamers to be more fully employed.
As a result Essex were able to score more freely and Derbyshire very generously continued to play when they would have been justified in calling off their efforts to take ten wickets. So ten Doeschate (112 balls) and Browne (159 balls) were given the opportunity to reach their hundreds, and both them were successful in that aim, incidentally setting a new record fifth wicket stand for Essex in matches against Derbyshire. As soon as Browne had reached his second undefeated hundred of the match the teams shook hands and the match was drawn. Derbyshire thus remain one place above Leicestershire at the foot of the Second Division table.
Derbyshire next Championship match starts next Monday at Cheltenham where they will be playing their return match against Gloucestershire.
Derbyshire 275 (82.3 overs) (WL Madsen 90, WJ Durston 74 ret hurt, PM Borrington 23; GR Napier 4 for 44, TC Moore 2 for 35) and 368 for 8 dec (103.4 overs) (S Chanderpaul 92, BT Slater 60, WL Madsen 59, AP Palladino 40, DJ Wainwright 32, TAI Taylor 29*; GR Napier 3 for 85, TJ Phillips 2 for 59)
Essex 277 (100 overs) (NLJ Browne 132*, JD Ryder 32, GM Smith 32, JS Foster 29; AP Palladino 4 for 65, TAI Taylor 3 for 62, MHA Footitt 2 for 91) and 243 for 4 (52.5 overs) (RN ten Doeschate 104*, NLJ Browne 100*; MHA Footitt 3 for 39)
Derbyshire (10 points) drew with Essex (10)
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