Derbyshire travelled to Horsham in Sussex for their fourth away match in this competition. The forecast was not too promising, but the match started on time with Wayne Madsen winning the toss and choosing to field first.
Rana Naved-ul-Hasan was making his debut as an overseas player for Derbyshire. Sussex started briskly with seven fours being hit in the space of twenty-four balls. During this time Mark Turner had bowled the dangerous Ed Joyce, and then Tim Groenewald took two wickets in his fourth over.
With Sussex on 40 for three their batsmen concentrated on keeping their wickets intact and they added only 18 from the next six overs. Gatting and Yardy looked to accelerate but, when Gatting, having hit two sixes, was well caught by Madsen at extra-cover off David Wainwright, the score had reached 102 for five.
Leicestershire won the toss and chose to bat on yet another chilly day. Tony Palladino got Derbyshire off to a fine start as he took a hat-trick in only the fifth over of the match: the third of these wickets, which sent West Indies Test batsman Sarwan’s off-stump cartwheeling, was also the two-hundredth of his career.
This was the first first-class hat-trick for Derbyshire since Kevin Dean had taken three in three on the same ground twelve years earlier. Leicestershire’s next pair, Boyce and Cobb, presented with the parlous position of 7 for three, stayed together for fourteen overs and added 59 for the fourth wicket.
Jon Clare broke this stand while Tim Groenewald returned to dismiss opener Boyce soon after he had reached his fifty. There was further resistance, mainly from Kadeer Ali, who hit 48 runs, but Groenewald took five of the last six wickets to finish with the excellent economical figures of five for 29 in almost eighteen overs.
Derbyshire started their pursuit of 177 which the home side had achieved for their first innings with the new left-handed partnership of Matt Lineker and Chesney Hughes, but rain came after only three overs and there could be no further play on the first day. Derbyshire – 5 without loss.
On a cool, but fine, Jubilee Bank Holiday Monday Derbyshire won the toss and chose to field first. Unfortunately Martin Guptill, nursing a broken finger, had been ordered to rest by New Zealand, and Derbyshire decided to rest three of their front-line bowlers. Even so Derbyshire’s second-string attack did well against a strong Warwickshire batting line-up.
Mark Turner took two early wickets and a fine throw by Tom Knight ran out the visitors’ captain, Troughton after he had looked in good touch. Chesney Hughes and Alex Hughes both bowled economically with good support from the field. Ambrose and Maddy added 90 in seventeen overs, but, when Rikki Clarke joined Ambrose, the scoring rate picked up with Clarke hitting three sixes and three fours in his 29-ball innings.
Without Clarke’s bold hitting Derbyshire would have had every reason to feel satisfied with their work at the half-way stage. 243 was likely to be a stiff target, and it quickly became even tougher when Derbyshire lost two wickets in the first over bowled by Woakes.
After five overs the score had slipped to 25 for four and the rest of the innings was unlikely to be more than a face-saving exercise. Five of the middle-order batsmen reached double-figures, but only one, Jon Clare, went on to pass twenty: he played the major role in a last-wicket stand of 33 as he hit cleanly to reach his fifty from 48 balls. He was last out for 57 including six fours and a six.
Warwickshire thus recorded a comfortable win with almost eight overs still to be bowled, and they went to the top of the table in Group C. Derbyshire’s next match in this competition will be at Horsham against Sussex next Sunday, 10th June.
Warwickshire 242 for 6 (40 overs) (TR Ambrose 77*, R Clarke 48, DL Maddy 40, JO Troughton 34; ML Turner 3 for 40)
Derbyshire 137 (32.1 overs) (JL Clare 57; SA Piolet 4 for 31, CR Woakes 3 for 46, CJC Wright 2 for 15)
Warwickshire (2 points) beat Derbyshire by 105 runs
The fine weather continued on the first day of this match and, when Derbyshire won the toss and chose to bat, things seemed set fair for a good start for the Division 2 leaders. But, cricket being cricket, just the opposite came to pass: Gloucestershire’s unsung seamers, Will Gidman, Payne and Saxelby caused several edges and mishits and their fielders caught well. By lunchtime Derbyshire had been reduced to 83 for eight with none of their batsmen having reached twenty.
After the interval the last two wickets fell to run outs and Derbyshire were all out for 95, a position from which they were going to have to play very well if they were to recover. Although the first wicket fell in the third over, a couple of missed chances allowed Gloucestershire, first to pass the Derbyshire total for the loss of only two wickets, and then to build a comfortable lead. By the close on the first day, the home county were 87 ahead with five wickets still left.
Gloucestershire were dismissed by lunch on a much greyer and colder second day by which time their lead had increased to a daunting 199. Home skipper, Alex Gidman, so often successful with the bat against Derbyshire, had completed a defiant and well-crafted century. As might be expected Derbyshire batted better at the second attempt with Martin Guptill playing some aggressive shots and captain Wayne Madsen digging in as he set a captain’s example. Even so the score slipped to 91 for three at which point Dan Redfern joined his captain and they built a partnership of 97 before Madsen was adjudged lbw for 73 (130 balls): this was the second time in two games when he had reached fifty, only to have his innings cut short by a dubious decision.
To add to Derbyshire’s woes it seems that Ross Whiteley was also mistakenly given out caught at the wicket, and Derbyshire finished the day on 211 for five, only twelve runs in front.
On the third morning Derbyshire’s hoped-for fightback did not materialise: Redfern advanced his overnight score from 64 to 77 before he offered a straightforward catch to extra-cover from the first ball after a thirty-five minute stoppage for rain. Jon Clare hit some bold shots in hitting an unbeaten 43 from 38 balls, but a final score of 283 left Gloucestershire needing only 85 runs to win.
Despite a wicket for Tony Palladino from the fourth ball of the innings, Howell and Williamson added 52 before Clare dismissed them both. Derbyshire’s batsmen had not scored enough runs to allow their bowlers to make further inroads, and for the third match in a row, the game was over inside three days.
Despite this disappointing loss, Derbyshire still head the Second Division table, but now realise that they must play with greater consistency if they are to achieve what they and all they supporters are hoping for.
Derbyshire’s next championship match will start on Tuesday next, atGrace Road,Leicester.
Derbyshire 95 (32.2 overs) (WJ Durston 18; WRS Gidman 4 for 29, DA Payne 3 for 23) and 283 (77.5 overs) (DJ Redfern 77, WL Madsen 72, JL Clare 43*, MJ Guptill 42; WRS Gidman 4 for 50, DA Payne 4 for 89, ID Saxelby 2 for 62)
Gloucestershire 294 (92.3 overs) (APRGidman 129, KS Williamson 56, HJH Marshall 31, AP Palladino 4 for 84, TD Groenewald 3 for 66, RA Whiteley 2 for 38) and 85 for 1 (21.2 overs) (BACHowell 31, KS Williamson 29*; JL Clare 2 for 17)
Gloucestershire (21 points) beat Derbyshire (3) by 7 wickets
At last the weather relented and cricket could be played in conditions which were more suitable for all involved. On the first day of this match the temperature was in the high twenties, andEssexwon the toss and chose to bat. They seemed to be setting a platform for the expected large total, but the runs came slowly and wickets fell at regular intervals.
Tim Groenewald and Ross Whiteley dismissed the openers in the first twenty overs, but it was when David Wainwright was introduced in the twenty-sixth over that the first really significant wicket fell.
His very first ball spun sharply and lifted to take the outside edge of Shah who had just returned from a spell playing in theIPLand wicket-keeper Tom Poynton took an excellent catch.
Pettini set out to provide the backbone to theEssexinnings, but he lost two more partners when Wainwright started a second spell: these two wickets fell in his first over, so at 101 for five,Essex were in trouble. Pettini was supported first by Greg Smith, then by Masters, in two stands which added 65 between them in a painstaking thirty-one overs.
Essex’s last four wickets added only sixteen runs, and Derbyshire had every right to feel pleased to have dismissed their hosts for a meagre 182. Wainwright finished with five for 51 on a pitch which should have favoured batsmen: it was remarkable in that he had bowled three separate spells and taken a wicket with the first ball of each – and it was his third five-wicket haul of the season.
Derbyshire were made to work very hard by the experienced opening pair of Essex bowlers, but they survived fifteen overs for the loss of only one wicket before the close – 37 for one.
Martin Guptill and Wayne Madsen scored at almost a run a minute for the first fifty minutes on the second morning: Guptill was out after they had added 81 for the second wicket and then Wes Durston made sure that Derbyshire’s good progress was maintained with a partnership of 77 for the third wicket. Madsen seemed unlucky to be given out caught at the wicket soon after he had reached a hard-earned fifty from 126 balls.
Durston continued in fine fluent form and he reached an excellent hundred in only 110 balls with eight fours and two sixes. At one stage it looked as though Derbyshire would go on and make a large total, but several middle-order batsmen were guilty of over-ambitious shots. The score slipped from 232 for four to 278 for nine with leg-spinner Craddock causing most of the misjudgements. Tim Groenewald joined Tom Poynton in the hope that they might score the twenty-two runs needed to earn a third batting point.
For some seasons now Poynton has shown promise, but he chose this moment to hint at the fulfilment to come. In just over five overs Derbyshire’s last pair added another 45 and Poynton completed his maiden first-class fifty in only 35 balls including seven fours and two sixes. Groenewald hit a six of his own and this partnership definitely put Derbyshire on the front foot for the start of theEssexsecond innings.
Groenewald continued his good work by having both Essex openers caught in the slips in his first two overs. Shah and Pettini survived until the end of the day withEssexon 46 for two, still 95 runs in arrears.
This pair continued for another thirty minutes on the third morning before Pettini was caught off Wainwright, who then bowled Foakes in his next over. At 77 for four Essex were in real trouble, but Shah and James Foster battled hard for eighteen overs in adding fifty at which point Shah missed an intended pull from a ball bowled by Durston which went behind his legs to hit his leg-stump.
Foster played with care as he sought lasting support from his fellow-batsmen, but wickets continued to fall so that, at 183 for seven, Essex were only 42 runs ahead with three wickets remaining. Now Foster changed gear: while Derbyshire set their fields deep, Foster refused the many easy singles on offer and played big shots when the field came closer at the end of each over. In fifteen overs the last three wickets added another fifty-one runs, all of them except one extra from the bat of Foster.
Tony Palladino eventually trapped him lbw, so Derbyshire were left with a target of 94 in thirty-one overs plus a full day.
Guptill and Paul Borrington made sure that they did not lose any wickets to the new ball, and they scored only five runs in the first five overs. At this point Guptill drove Willoughby back over his head for six, a feat which he repeated in Willoughby’s next over. Thereafter the runs came at almost eight runs an over, mostly scored by Guptill who reached his fifty from 42 balls, although Borrington played a few shots of his own as victory came near. This was the first time Derbyshire had won a game at this Chelmsford ground since 1937, a fact which made the success all the more welcome.
This ten-wicket win had been a wonderful performance by a team which is gaining in confidence and self-belief. It takes them further ahead at the top of the Second Division, twenty-six points in front of second-placedKent. These are still early days and the team are very aware that they have still to play Kent and Yorkshire twice each and Hampshire once, but if they can keep playing the sort of cricket we have seen so far this season, then anything is possible.
Derbyshire’s next championship match starts atBristolon Wednesday, 30 May, when they play Gloucestershire in a return match.
Essex182 (79.2 overs) (ML Pettini 56, T Westley 36, OA Shah 21; DJ Wainwright 5 for 56, TD Groenewald 2 for 26) and 234 (84.2 overs) (JS Foster 96, OA Shah 75; TD Groenewald 3 for 26, DJ Wainwright 3 for 83, AP Palladino 2 for 44)
Derbyshire 323 (88.5 overs) (WJ Durston 116, T Poynton 50*, WL Madsen 50, MJ Guptill 36; TR Craddock 5 for 96, DD Master 2 for 53) and 96 for 0 (17 overs) (MJ Guptill 66*, PM Borrington 30*)
Derbyshire (22 points) beat Essex (3) by 10 wickets
By John Brown
Derbyshire travelled to Headingley for their third away match in this competition. Yorkshirewon the toss and chose to field first, whereupon Martin Guptill and Chesney Hughes got Derbyshire off to a fine start. Guptill looked in particularly ominous form as he reached his fifty in 53 balls with three sixes and four fours.
When Hughes was bowled immediately after reaching his own fifty (72 balls with four fours) the opening pair had added a fine 137 in less than twenty-five overs. This should have been the platform for an onslaught, but thereafter no-one could settle and, try as they would, the run-rate dropped and only another 82 runs were scored from the last fifteen overs.
A total of 219 was many fewer thanYorkshireshould have been challenged to chase, and they were able to take their time with comparatively little risk. Derbyshire’s front-line spinners, David Wainwright, playing against his old county for the first time, and Wes Durston, slowed the scoring for a while, but when Gary Ballance decided to raise the rate he did so with some comfort.
Ballance had started his career with Derbyshire a few years earlier, but he had been allowed to leave and now he showed his old county what they were missing. After Durston had dismissed both openers, Ballance shared consecutive partnerships of 69 and an unbroken 70 with Jaques and Root to take his team home by a comfortable seven wickets with fourteen balls to spare.
Derbyshire will have rued the fact that they were unable to make the most of what had been a most promising start as they lost their second match in this competition. Their first 40-over game at home (Derby) will be on Bank Holiday Monday, 4th June, when they will be seeking revenge for last week’s defeat by Warwickshire.
Derbyshire 219 for 8 (40 overs) (MJ Guptill 89, CF Hughes 50; MA Starc 3 for 28, A McGrath 2 for 24)
Torkshire 223 for 3 (37.4 overs) (GS Ballance 77*, PA Jaques 47, AW Gale 33, A Lyth 31, JE Root 28*; WJ Durston 2 for 40)
Yorkshire (2 points) beat Derbyshire by 7 wickets
By John Brown
On a sunny, but still chilly, day Warwickshire won the toss and asked Derbyshire to bat first. They got off to a bad start as three wickets fell in the first five overs with only 19 runs on the board. Wes Durston was the only batsman to play with any freedom and he hit 44 from 54 balls with five fours and two sixes, one of which was hit over the stand and out of the ground.
Ross Whiteley struggled, but managed to stay longer than most as he scored 20 from forty balls. Tim Groenewald played a couple of strong clouts towards the end of the innings, but an all-out total of 122 was far short of what Derbyshire would have expected to make. Rikki Clarke, once of Derbyshire, and Jeetan Patel both finished with excellent figures of three for 22 from their eight overs.
After the interval, Derbyshire hopes were raised temporarily when Groenewald dismissed Chopra from the fourth ball of the innings. This brought in Porterfield to joinEngland’s Jonathan Trott and, batting without any pressure, Porterfield drove strongly while Trott played the supporting role and took singles almost, it seemed, at will. This pair stayed until the end to give Warwickshire a nine-wicket win with more than fifteen overs to spare.
From Derbyshire’s point of view it was a day best forgotten. Their next match in this competition will be at Headingley next Sunday, 20th May.
Derbyshire 122 (31.1 overs) (WJ Durston 44, RA Whiteley 20; R Clarke 3 for 22, J Patel 3 for 22, CR Woakes 2 for 20, CJC Wright 2 for 31)
Warwickshire 125 for 1 (24.3 overs) (WTSPorterfield 81*, IJL Trott 41*)
Warwickshire (2 points) beat Derbyshire by 9 wickets
By John Brown
The weather on the first two days of this match could hardly have been worse: the umpires had hoped that play would be possible on the second afternoon, but more rain ruled out that possibility. When play did start on a much brighter third day Derbyshire won the toss and chose to field first on a pitch which it was hoped would help the seamers.
Although Dawson fell early to the accurate Tony Palladino, Hampshire’s next pair prospered on a pitch which proved to be much slower and lower than expected. Adams and Shafayat, making his county debut, added 164 in 39 overs for the second wicket. Although Derbyshire persevered, and wickets fell regularly, Hampshire will have felt that they had had the better of the day as they finished on 352 for eight from their 96 overs.
Hampshire declared overnight, but there were no arrangements or forfeitures, and Derbyshire set off to score as many as they could and hope to pick up some more batting bonus points. They started badly, however, with their first three batsmen all falling to catches at second slip. Wes Durstonand Dan Redfern stayed together and their stroke-play became ever more fluent. They stayed until lunch, taken at 127 for three, and continued afterwards until their partnership was broken after they had added 178, only 18 short of Derbyshire’s record for this wicket against Hampshire.Durston reached his hundred from only 97 balls with 16 fours and three sixes, and he hit two more sixes before he was out.
Redfern batted on beautifully and he too completed his century, his second of the season (and career): he was eventually out for 133 from 161 balls (18 fours and a six). Ross Whiteley, David Wainwright, Jon Clare and Tom Poynton all made useful contributions, but it was the last wicket partnership between Palladino and Tim Groenewald which made the day for Derbyshire. When they came together Derbyshire were still 41 runs short of their fifth batting bonus point: there were still twenty overs remaining, but even though Hampshire claimed the second new ball, they looked in little trouble and Palladino finished the job with three fours in five balls.
Derbyshire declared immediately and the teams shook hands at the end of two interesting days.
Hampshire 352 for 8 dec (96 overs) (JHK Adams 122, BM Shafayat 93, JM Vince 36, SM Ervine 24; JL Clare 2 for 57, DJ Wainwright 2 for 61, AP Palladino 2 for 71)
Derbyshire (overs) (DJ Redfern 133, WJ Durston 121, RA Whiteley 23, DJ Wainwright 23, AP Palladino 22*, TD Groenewald 20*, JL Clare 20; K Ali 3 for 60, JA Tomlinson 3 for 101, DJ Balcombe 2 for 69)
Match Drawn: Hampshire 10 points, Derbyshire 10 points
By John Brown
This match was played throughout in wintery temperatures which were quite unsuitable for cricketers, umpires and spectators alike. Derbyshire won the toss and, to the surprise of many, chose to bat first. Despite the loss of the openers during the first thirteen overs, Wayne Madsen’s decision proved right as first he and Wes Durston, showing a welcome return to his 2011 form, added 100 for the third wicket, and then Dan Redfern helped put on another 115 for the fourth.
Madsen played the anchor role and, despite having to wait for twenty balls with his score on 99, he completed a thoroughly well-deserved and emotionally charged century from 183 balls. He was out shortly afterwards and Derbyshire finished the day on a very satisfactory 362 for 9. Durston (88 balls) and Redfern(58 balls) both passed fifties which were full of well-timed and aggressive strokes, while Ross Whiteley made a useful forty.
On the second morning Jon Clare and Tim Groenewald hit boldly in adding 26 from only thirteen balls to take the final total to 388 all out. Clare’s 48 came at just a run a ball.
Gloucestershire lost a wicket to Tony Palladino in the first over, but thereafter they looked fairly comfortable in taking the score to 94 for two at lunch. Three wickets fell quickly soon after the break, and Derbyshire’s bowlers kept a firm grip on things with some well-controlled bowling. All the wickets fell to seamers while David Wainwright kept things quiet from the pavilion end with his left-arm spin. Palladino took five wickets for 47 before bad light finished play early with twenty-six overs still to be bowledand Gloucestershire on 172 for nine, still 216 behind.
Next day Gloucestershire’s last pair survived for another 48 minutes, perhaps an indication that the pitch was becoming more batsman-friendly. They were eventually all out for 206 and Derbyshire enforced the follow-on. Groenewald took a wicket in his first over, but the Gloucestershire batsmen, concentrating mainly on defence, made life difficult for Derbyshire. Only one more wicket fell all day and Howell, Williamson and Marshall had all looked comfortable for most of the day.
The fourth day started on time with a draw looking the most likely outcome, unless Derbyshire could take wickets with the new ball which was due after eleven overs. As it happened the pitch seemed to have flattened out, and only one wicket fell in the morning session, Williamson (272 balls) edging a ball from Clare to the keeper, Tom Poynton.
Marshall, the visitors’ stand-in captain, was lbw to Groenewald for a well-made 90 (200 balls) as the game meandered towards what seemed to be the inevitable draw. His dismissal was followed by a ten-minute stoppage for rain and hail, but then Cockbain and Will Gidman continued the resistance. By tea, taken with the score at 369 for four, everyone was going through the motions, just waiting for the moment when Gloucestershire could declare and the teams shake hands.
As a result of this draw Derbyshire have returned to first place in the table.
Derbyshire’s next championship match is at Southampton where they meet Hampshire in a four-day match starting on Wednesday, the first time the two counties have met for several seasons. The next home championship match will be against Glamorgan on Wednesday week.
County caps were awarded to four Derbyshire players before the start of play on the third morning – Martin Guptill, Wes Durston, Jon Clare and TonlyPalladino.
Derbyshire 388 (98.1 overs) (WL Madsen 101, WJ Durston 68, DJ Redfern 55, JL Clare 48, RA Whiteley 40, MJ Guptill 30; JK Fuller 3 for 64, ID Saxelby 3 for 79)
Gloucestershire 206 (69.3 overs) (CDJ Dent 55, KS Williamson 25, PB Muchall 21, WRS Gidman 21; AP Palladino 5 for 47, JL Clare 3 for 48) and 409 for 4 (145 overs) (KS Williamson 128, HJH Marshall 90, BAC Howell 64, IA Cockbain 63*, WRS Gidman 33*; JL Clare 2 for 39, TD Groenewald 2 for 44)
Match Drawn (Derbyshire 10 points) Gloucestershire (7)
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