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)
By John Brown
Following several days of heavy rain it was decided before play was due to start on the second day of this match that there could be no play and the match was abandoned without a ball being bowled. The outfield was very wet and much work needed to be done before any play would have been possible.
This would have been the first time that Derbyshire had played Cardiff, so it was disappointing that the match could not even be started and that several young Derbyshire players together with a few who were hoping to find form were denied their opportunity.
Derbyshire’s next match is at Derby against Gloucestershire in the championship, starting at 11am on Wednesday 2nd May.
By John Brown
The weather forecasters warned us that all four days were likely to be blighted by frequent rain showers, but, in the event, much more cricket was played than might have been expected. As it happened the start on the first day was delayed until 3.30pm: Derbyshire won the toss and asked the visitors to bat first. Rain came again after 10.5 overs had been bowled (Leicestershire 24 for one) and there was no more play that day.
Tony Palladino took his second wicket on the second morning, but Smith and Sarwan, Leicestershire’s stand-in overseas captain, stayed together in adding 82 for the third wicket. Cobb joined Sarwan and they added a further 139: both batsmen reached 105 before they were dismissed so the visitors were in a strong position. Two wickets fell just before the close, taken at 318 for seven.
Next morning Palladino and Mark Footitt finished off the innings in four overs, so the last five wickets had fallen while only seven runs were added, and these two bowlers had taken three wickets each. Derbyshire started badly as they lost two wickets in the first three overs, and all their batsmen were made to work hard. When the seventh wicket fell at 115, it seemed likely that Derbyshire would have to follow on, but David Wainwright, Jon Clare and Tom Poynton all battled hard in making double figures.
Derbyshire won the toss and chose to bat on a pitch which looked true enough: once play had started, however, it was clear that all was not as easy as had been expected.
Graham Wagg, who had left Derbyshire two seasons earlier, bowled with great control and swung the ball late in both directions: in his opening spell of nine overs he dismissed the top four batsmen at a cost of 22. Derbyshire slipped to 44 for five and it took a sensible stand of 48 between Ross Whiteley and newcomer David Wainwright (fromYorkshire) to bring any sort of respectability to the all out total of 130.
Jon Clare added a useful 21, but the highlight thus far had been Wagg’s bowling with six for 44, the first time he had taken more than three wickets in an innings for his adopted county.
A young Derbyshire team (average age 25) started their championship campaign in bitterly cold conditions on the earliest date in their history. Northamptonshire won the toss and invited Derbyshire to bat on a pitch which they expected to help their seam bowlers. At first the visitors seemed to have taken the advantage as Derbyshire lost their first three wickets for 21, and their fourth at 50.
Despite what seemed to be awkward conditions, however, Dan Redfern looked to be in the form of his life, and he played confident strokes all round the wicket. At lunch Redfern had made 52 made from only 55 balls out of 96 for four. After the break he, in partnership with Ross Whiteley, continued to make good progress and this pair were not parted until they had equalled the fifth wicket record for the county in all matches against Northamptonshire – 160.
Redfern was bowled for 110, his maiden first-class century, made from 143 balls with thirteen fours. From this point, 210 for five, the rest of the batsmen managed only another 76 between them, but the final total of 286 was far more than had looked likely earlier in the day. Whiteley went for a well-crafted 83 made from137 balls (11 fours and 2 sixes).
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.
Derbyshire v Kent at Derby on 7 to 10 September: LV County Championship: Division 2
Report by: John Brown
Match Result: Derbyshire (24 points) beat Kent (1) by 101 runs
The weather forecast for the four days of Derbyshire’s last home championship match was most unpromising, but only fifteen overs were lost in total. The start on the first day was delayed by forty-five minutes when Kent asked Derbyshire to bat first on a pitch which looked likely to help the seam bowlers. The early batsmen had to work hard to survive and they did not reach fifty, for the loss of one wicket, until the nineteenth over.
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