Yorkshire v Derbyshire at Headingley on 29th April to 2nd May: LV= County Championship: Division 1
By John Brown
This proved to be one of the more memorable matches in Derbyshire’s long history, although not necessarily for the best of reasons.
After a rain-delayed start of forty-five minutes, Wayne Madsen lost the toss for the fourth time in four matches and, for the fourth time, Derbyshire were asked to bat first. This did not seem such a bad thing when Chesney Hughes, just recalled to the 1st XI after impressing while on duty for the seconds, and Madsen took Derbyshire to Lunch at 89 for one.
The situation looked even better at Tea when the score had reached 204, still for the loss of only one wicket. Hughes had already passed his hundred (160 balls) while Madsen was on 70. It was not until this pair had added 258 for the second wicket that Madsen was dismissed seven runs short of his own century. Two more wickets fell before the close, but Hughes was still there unbeaten on 171.
A fifth wicket soon fell on the second morning, but David Wainwright stayed with Hughes to add 81. Hughes had now passed his own highest score and reached his double hundred from 328 balls. His driving had been a feature of his innings, as had his judgment in leaving balls passing his off-stump. Tom Poynton and Tony Palladino helped in partnerships of 53 and 33 but, by now, the main interest was to see whether Hughes could break the 117-year old record for the highest-ever score made by a Derbyshire batsman.
Derbyshire v Nottinghamshire at Derby on 24th, 25th, 26th and 27th April: LV=County Championship: Division 1
By John Brown
Derbyshire hosted neighbouring Nottinghamshire in their first home match in the First Division for over a decade and a packed County Ground enjoyed four competitive days of cricket.
Wayne Madsen lost his third toss in three matches and Derbyshire were asked to bat first. Despite the loss of an early wicket they seemed quite nicely placed at 49 for one, but they had a bad spell during which they lost five wickets in fifteen overs to be reduced to 75 for six.
It was going to need something a bit special to bring Derbyshire back into the game. Jon Clare joined the seemingly immovable Shivnarine Chanderpaul and together they added 96 before Clare was caught at slip just one short of what would have been a well-deserved fifty.
Tony Palladino added to his growing reputation as a reliable batsman as he scored 39 to help Chanderpaul to add another 68 for the ninth wicket. Chanderpaul finished the innings unbeaten on 87 from153 balls (9 fours). Derbyshire were pleased to earn themselves a second batting point when even one had seemed most unlikely.
ACADEMY WIN AGAIN
Sunday 21st April saw the Academy complete their second win of the season against Premier League new boys Eckington.
Academy captain, Ben Cotton, won the toss and invited Eckington to bat first on a sunny morning. Cork made an early breakthrough to leave the hosts 10-1, but Eckington skipper Tom Dawson and opening bat Steve Nicholas then added 72 for the second wicket.
All of the Academy spinners, Clare, Killoran and Burgoyne all bowled magnificently to control Eckington's scoring and started to take regular wickets with clever varieties of pace and plenty of turn.
Such was the dominance of the Academy spinners that Eckington batsman could only manage 4 boundaries between them once Nicholas and Dawson had been removed. Cork bowled as well as he had done the previous week against Ticknall.
The Academy's reply got off to a blistering start with Kumar looking in fine form scoring 43 of the 52-run first-wicket partnership before he fell to the ever-reliable Wayne Dye. Kumar's five boundaries from one over off the Eckington overseas fast bowler was simply a joy to watch.
Once Bird had finally been dismissed, the Academy were well set with Burgoyne in the midst of constructing a very professional innings that was a fine example to some of the younger players in the side. He and Rahib Ali put on 64 for the third wicket before Ali was out with just six needed for victory. Burgoyne finished with a superb 81 not out as he and Harvey Hosein saw the Academy to victory with almost 10 overs still remaining.
Middlesex v Derbyshire at Lord’s on 17th, 18th and 19th April: LV=County Championship Division 1
By John Brown
Derbyshire were buoyed by the excitement of their visit to the Home of Cricket for this four-day LV= County Championship match. Middlesex won the toss and elected to field first and they would quickly get their reward as skipper Wayne Madsen was run out by a direct hit by former Captain Chris Rogers before he had scored.
Wes Durston joined Billy Godleman and they were made to work hard by some accurate seam bowling, but they were still together at lunch taken at 59-1. It was an intriguing battle although it did not make for exciting watching.
Eventually Durston fell for 48 (103 balls) after sharing a stand of 83 for the second wicket. Shivnarine Chanderpaul started in what seems to be his customary style of watchful self-denial, but after he had faced 60 balls he miscued a half-hearted pull to mid-wicket.
There followed another all too familiar mid-order collapse to leave Derbyshire on 150 for six. Godleman stood firm while others fell around him, but then three more wickets fell while only one run was added. Godleman had made his first fifty for his new county – he had received 260 balls and hit only one boundary - when he was adjudged lbw and the score was 181-9.
THE ACADEMY START SEASON IN WINNING STYLE
The Cricket Derbyshire Academy, sponsored by the University of Derby, began their 2013 campaign with a two- wicket win against Ticknall CC in the Premier Challenge.
In incredibly windy conditions, the Academy won the toss and chose to bowl first. Although both Cork and Cotton bowled tidily they could not force the early breakthrough and Ticknall had moved to 58 before the first wicket fell.
With the score on 80, Cork took the vital wicket of Paul Borrington for 37 which left Abbas and Ikin to start building a partnership. The Ticknall innings never really regained momentum against some tight bowling from Jono Clare and Greg Cork in his second spell. At the end of their 50 overs, Ticknall’s score finished on 163 for 9.
On the back of a plan to bat in a disciplined manner, the Academy’s innings started badly. After 27 overs, the score stood at 91 for 6. However, an excellent partnership from wicketkeeper Harvey Hosein and captain Ben Cotton followed and they took the score to 142 before Cotton was dismissed, soon to be followed by Greg Massingham.
Hosein found a solid partner in Adam Wheatcroft and together they took the Academy to victory in the 49th over with Hosein finishing on 44 not out.
2nd XI Friendly - Derbyshire v Essex, April 9th, 10th and 11th 2013
Derbyshire 2nd XI were defeated in their opening friendly of 2013, as an experienced Essex side claimed a 272-run victory at the County Ground.
Batting first on a good wicket, Essex posted 319-9 declared from 108 overs thanks to an unbeaten century from Saf Imtiaz and 62 from Rehan Hassan. Mark Footitt (2-42), Matt Higginbottom (2-53) and Harding (2-29) all claimed two wickets apiece for the hosts.
Reece Topley and former England paceman Saj Mahmood opened the bowling for the visitors and quickly claimed three Derbyshire wickets for just seven runs. But Richard Johnson (32) and Peter Burgoyne (19) began the Derbyshire fightback putting on 60 for the fourth wicket.
But Derbyshire failed to recover after the pair were dismissed in successive overs just before lunch on Day 2, as the hosts were dismissed for 123 in 45.5 overs.
Warwickshire v Derbyshire at Edgbaston on 10th to 13th April 2013: LV= County Championship: Division 1
By John Brown
Derbyshire started their First Division campaign with a visit to the 2012 champions at Edgbaston. On a cold, grey day Warwickshire won the toss and asked Derbyshire to bat first on a pitch which gave early help to the seam bowlers.
Both Billy Godleman, making his first-class debut for Derbyshire, and Wayne Madsen fell to catches at first slip before Wes Durston and the new overseas signing, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, steadied things for a while.
Runs proved hard to come by so the score at lunch, after 29 overs, was only 50 for two. Durston was out soon after the interval for a well-made 32, while Chanderpaul concentrated almost entirely on defencel. Dan Redfern played as fluently as anyone all day as he reached 34 from forty-five balls.
He was fourth out with the score on 105, after which three more wickets fell in eight overs while twelve runs were added. 117 for seven looked most unpromising for the visitors, so Derbyshire were indebted to the late-order batsmen, in particular Tony Palladino and to a lesser extent by Chesney Hughes and Mark Turner, as they almost doubled the score and earned their team a batting point.
Pre-season Practice Match: Derbyshire v Nottinghamshire at Derby on 7th and 8th April 2013
By John Brown
The two counties met for some serious practice in the middle, although the cricket could never be considered as a competitive contest.
On the first day it had been agreed that Nottinghamshire should bat for 50 overs after which Derbyshire would bat for 40 overs. On the second day it was Derbyshire’s turn to bat for 50 overs while the visitors had 40.
Tony Palladino, Tim Groenewald and Jon Clare all bowled very tidily on the first morning as the visitors’ openers struggled to make runs on a pitch that suited seam bowling.
It was not until the slower bowlers took their turn to practise in cold conditions that the runs began to come more easily. Even so Derbyshire had every reason to feel satisfied with Nottinghamshire’s final score of 173 for 5 from their fifty overs. Chris Read and Steven Mullaney both made fluent fifties in the later, easier conditions.
By John Brown
Derbyshire came to this match, their last of the season, knowing that anything less than a win was unlikely to give them the longed-for promotion which they had been playing for.
In front of the Sky cameras who were covering the whole match, Wayne Madsen won the toss and chose to field first whereupon Tony Palladino responded by taking three wickets in his opening spell of eight overs. Hampshire were 26 for three and this became 59 for four when Ross Whiteley dismissed the in-form Adams.
Now Vince and Ervine came together and restored the Hampshire position with a partnership of 136 for the fourth wicket: Vince passed fifty for the first time in the championship this season and he went on to complete a very good hundred from 128 balls.
Once this pair was parted Derbyshire’s bowlers completed their job by bowling Hampshire out for 272, with David Wainwright taking the last two wickets in two balls.
Derbyshire had eighteen overs to bat before the close, but they lost three wickets to finish the day on 50 for three. Palladino had come in as night-watchman and he spent the first eighty minutes on the second morning playing some sparkling shots to score 58 (8 fours 2 sixes) from 78 balls.
Usman Khawaja had played the sensible supporting role at the other end and he was still there at lunch, taken at 167 for five.
The umpires and players came out after the interval, but rain drove them back before a ball could be bowled and that was the end of play for the day.
In the meantime Derbyshire’s chief rivals were making progress in their matches, although Glamorgan seemed to be doing them a favour as they compiled 390 against Kent.
On the third morning Khawaja fell without adding to his overnight score of 71, and Wainwright soon followed. Derbyshire now knew that they needed at least two batting bonus points if they were to have any chance of achieving their ultimate aim, so they were indebted to the youthful pairing of Whiteley and Tom Poynton who added an invaluable 63 together for the eighth wicket.
Now they had those two all-important extra points and they were able to continue to claim a narrow three-run lead on first innings. Whiteley continued his good run with an excellent undefeated 57 (7 fours and a six) from 132 balls.
Hampshire started their second innings shortly after lunch and lost their openers within four balls of each other in the ninth and tenth overs bowled by Palladino and Tim Groenewald – 16 for two.
Shafayat dug in for the visitors and helped them to 68 for three from twenty-four overs at tea. Shafayat was supported by Vince and then Ervine, but Whiteley produced one of his most effective short spells of the season as he took two wickets for only six runs. This took Hampshire to 142 for six at the close, a position which raised Derbyshire hopes, even though Shafayat was still there on 52.
After the close at Derby the news from Cardiff came in that Glamorgan had managed to beat Kent by seven wickets: this ensured that Derbyshire would be promoted, but now their aim was to take top position in the division.
They were made to wait more than ten overs on the final morning before they could take a wicket, but then the last four men were out to spinners Wes Durston and Wainwright in the space of six overs for only nineteen runs.
Paul Borrington had made an outstanding catch at deep mid-off as he dived far to his right and held the ball with both hands. Shafayat had run himself out by thinking of taking a quick single to Whiteley at mid-wicket who whipped his return to wicket-keeper Poynton to leave the batsman stranded.
Derbyshire needed 196 to win in a minimum of 77 overs: they had fifty minutes batting before lunch and Madsen and Borrington soothed jangling nerves with a positive and assured opening partnership of 45 in thirteen overs.
Then, most unexpectedly, both batsmen were dismissed just before lunch, so spectators were left waiting anxiously to see what would happen after the interval.
They need not have worried: Khawaja and Durston came out playing shots, with Khawaja looking in his best form of the season. Together they added 67 at five runs an over before Durston was adjudged lbw – 112 for three.
Dan Redfern joined Khawaja who immediately unleashed a series of beautiful cover-drives. When Whiteley joined his Australian partner fifty-three runs were still needed, but Whiteley, who had celebrated his twenty-fourth birthday the previous day, was in no mood to keep the crowd waiting.
Only eight overs were needed to complete the victory: Khawaja was there at the end, and was named Man of the Match, probably just edging out his partner at the end for that honour.
Whiteley struck a remarkable five sixes, including the winning hit over square-leg. It was a wonderful moment, the culmination of much hard work and good cricket, thoroughly well-deserved by all the players, coaches and support staff.
Derbyshire finished with same number of points as Yorkshire, 194, but since they had won one more match than their northern neighbours, Derbyshire were the champions.
The celebrations were great - there were plenty of interviews and much spraying of champagne in front of a happy crowd of Derbyshire supporters. It is to be hoped that most of these, and many others, will be back next year to watch some long-awaited First Division cricket.
Hampshire 272 (75.4 overs) (JM Vince 114, SM Ervine 61, MD Bates 29, DJ Balcombe 20*, JHK Adams 20; AP Palladino 3 for 44, DJ Wainwright 3 for 69, RA Whiteley 2 for 37) and 198 (72.3 overs) (BM Shafayat 81, JM Vince 26, SM Ervine 20; RA Whiteley 2 for 6, WJ Durston 2 for 36, DJ Wainwright 2 for 41)
Derbyshire 275 (86 overs) (UT Khawaja 71, AP Palladino 58, RA Whiteley 57*, T Poynton 24; SM Ervine 3 for 25, JA Tomlinson 3 for 65, DJ Balcombe 2 for 68) and 197 for 4 (41.5 overs) (UT Khawaja 72*, RA Whiteley 38*, WL Madsen 24, WJ Durston 23, PM Borrington 21; DA Griffiths 2 for 33, LA Dawson 2 for 82)
Derbyshire (21 points) beat Hampshire (5) by 6 wickets
Derbyshire became Division 2 Champions for 2012
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