After three disappointing days when there could be no play, a warm sun-filled day was especially welcome to bring the Chesterfield week to a more appropriate close.
Wayne Madsen won the toss and invited Yorkshire to bat first in this mid-table one-day encounter. Although wickets did not come easily, Derbyshire’s first four bowlers kept the flow of runs within check for the first seventeen overs. Tim Groenewald, Jon Clare and Wes Durston were especially economical in this early part of the innings.
Jaques was the first to fall – to a splendid falling catch by Durston at mid-wicket, and it was he who took the next two wickets having Root stumped and captain Gale hit wicket as his foot dislodged a bail as he set off for a run.
Bairstow and Ballance added 37 in eight overs before Mark Turner uprooted Bairstow’s off-stump. This brought in Pyrah, who, together with Ballance, helped add a further 56 in seven overs.
Derbyshire had had every reason to feel pleased with themselves when Yorkshire’s score had reached only 163 off 34 overs: it was at this point that Yorkshire took their four-over batting Powerplay and they hit 49 runs in this time for the loss of Ballance.
Pyrah hit the first three balls of the thirty-ninth over from Clare for sixes, and Yorkshire were able to finish on 238 from their forty overs.
Derbyshire suffered an almost immediate setback when Usman Khawaja fell to his first ball from Wardlaw, but, with the help of a few Wides and No balls, Chesney Hughes, Durston and Madsen moved the score along at more than seven runs an over.
Derbyshire reached their fifty in seven overs, but by the end of the first eight-over Powerplay they had already lost four wickets in scoring 56 runs.
Madsen and on-loan wicket-keeper, Richard Johnson, set about rebuilding the innings with some success as they added 67 in twelve overs. When Madsen was caught and bowled in the twentieth over, Derbyshire were certainly up with the required run-rate, but they seemed to have run out of established batsmen.
Clare hit a six in a brief innings, but his dismissal brought in the inexperienced Alex Hughes. Derbyshire still needed 98 to win and most people on the ground, the Yorkshire team included, expected an early capitulation. It was not to be, however – Johnson continued to bat sensibly and Hughes was the perfect foil, seemingly nerveless and always in control of the situation. This pair added a thoroughly creditable 80 in just under twelve overs with Johnson having reached his fifty from only 54 balls.
Yorkshire were clearly rattled by the time Johnson hit a catch straight to extra-cover from the last ball of the thirty-fifth over. He had played a wonderful innings of 79 from only 74 balls with six fours and two sixes.
Now Derbyshire needed only eighteen runs from the last five overs, and it was reassuring to see ex-Yorkshireman, David Wainwright, coming to the wicket to help see his team home.
There were still some anxious moments for Derbyshire supporters, however, when Hughes was dropped at mid-wicket as the ball came out of the sun and, shortly afterwards, when he was given run out from a direct hit from the boundary as he went for a third run, only for the fielder to admit that he had been unable to prevent the ball reaching the boundary before he had returned it.
Now Derbyshire needed five runs from three overs and, fittingly, it was Alex Hughes who hit the winning boundary through the covers. It had been a marvellous game of cricket, made all the better for Derbyshire supporters by the fact that they had beaten their much stronger (on paper) neighbours and rivals.
Derbyshire’s next match in this competition will be at the County ground against Kent on Tuesday 31st July.
Yorkshire 238 for 7 (40 overs) (AW Gale 51, GS Balance 47, RM Pyrah 44, JE Root 33, PA Jaques 25, JM Bairstow 25; WJ Durston 2 for 32, TD Groenewald 2 for 39, JL Clare 2 for 51)
Derbyshire 239 for 7 (37.4 overs) (RM Johnson 79, WL Madsen 40, AL Hughes 37*, CF Hughes 20; I Wardlaw 3 for 60, A Rashid 2 for 36, MA Starc 2 for 46)
Derbyshire (2 points) beat Yorkshire by 3 wickets
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