Derbyshire v Yorkshire at Chesterfield on 14 July: FLt20 North Division
By John Brown
On the hottest day of the year so far, in front of a full house, Derbyshire won the toss against near-neighbours Yorkshire and asked them to bat first. They started well so that, after nine overs, they had reached 70 for the loss of only one wicket, and that had come from a finely-judged catch on the square-leg boundary by Billy Godleman who was only playing because of Shivnarine Chanderpaul’s leg injury.
Dan Redfern bowled Jaques at this point and Albie Morkel followed with two wickets in three balls in the twelfth over. Now Yorkshire were 81 for 4 and they had to work hard, mainly through the efforts of Gary Ballance, to set a challenging target. The last two overs, bowled by Mark Turner and Tim Groenewald, cost only eight runs while three wickets fell. This was an excellent finish to the innings and, despite a few earlier incidents of careless fielding, Derbyshire had every reason to be optimistic as they set off on their run-chase.
Chesney Hughes and Wes Durston took thirteen off the first two overs, but Durston strained his back in turning for a run and had to retire hurt. Hughes and Wayne Madsen kept the score moving along at a comfortable pace until, with the score on 49 in the eight over, there was a double blow to Derbyshire’s hopes. First Madsen was run out after refusing an over-ambitious call for a single, and this was followed next ball when Hughes was well caught at short extra-cover from a firm drive.
Now it was Derbyshire’s turn to rebuild the innings, but Redfern and Godleman both fell to catches as they attempted attacking shots. The Yorkshire spinners, Rashid and Rafiq, had slowed Derbyshire’s run-chase as they conceded only 43 runs from their eight overs. Morkel had had little luck with the bat thus far in the competition, and a major contribution was called for now. He and Tom Poynton added 35 together in five overs, but after Poynton was caught on the long-off boundary, Derbyshire needed 41 more runs from only twenty balls.
Only nine singles came from the next fourteen balls, so the match was as good as over – so it seemed. Pyrah bowled the last over with Morkel facing and it was clear that the overseas star was going to go down fighting. He hit the first ball for a one-bounce four and this was followed by a Wide ball. The next four balls were hit by Morkel for four, six, four, six, so quite remarkably Derbyshire needed just one six more to tie the match. The last ball was a full length just outside the off-stump and Morkel was unable to make contact with it. His last six had brought him his fifty from only thirty balls (5 fours, 3 sixes) and unusually for a member of the losing side, he was chosen by the umpires as Man of the Match.
So Yorkshire had won by six runs, and the feeling amongst the Derbyshire team and their supporters that this was a game which they should have won, and that they would have done so had it not been for a few rare moments of careless or poor cricket. Derbyshire are still third in the table, but they will have to reverse the recent trend of failing to finish matches in which they have earned themselves winning positions. With four games still to play, their next match will again be at Chesterfield on Sunday 21st July when Durham will be the visitors. We hope that there will be another full house to cheer them on.
Yorkshire 142 for 9 (20 overs) (DM Hodgson 31, GS Ballance 28, PA Jaques 22; JA Morkel 4 for 25, ML Turner 3 for 21)
Derbyshire 136 for 7 (20 overs) (JA Morkel 51*, CF Hughes 21; Azeem Rafiq 3 for 22)
Yorkshire (2 points) beat Derbyshire by 6 runs
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