Derbyshire v Essex at Leek on 9th June: Yorkshire Bank 40: Group B
By John Brown
On a beautiful sunny afternoon at Leek, Derbyshire were pleased to play host to group table-toppers Essex. The visitors won the toss and invited Derbyshire to bat first on what looked to be a batsman-friendly pitch.
Chesney Hughes set Derbyshire on their way with three fours from the first three balls of the match. He was out in the third over, however, but his partner, Wes Durston, was in fine aggressive form, and he reached his fifty from only 34 balls. He hit all the Essex bowlers to various parts of the ground so, when he was bowled in the fourteenth over, he had hit seven fours and five sixes in his 46-ball innings for 71.
Durston was well supported by Paul Borrington, and they provided just the platform from which Shivnarine Chanderpaul is so adept at taking advantage. Taking a series of singles at first, Chanderpaul timed his innings to perfection while Wayne Madsen, Richard Johnson and Alex Hughes took more chances at the other end.
Chanderpaul and Hughes made good use of their four powerplay overs as they scored 49 runs in that short time, as they finished with an unbroken partnership of 102 from just ten overs - helping Derbyshire to record their highest-ever League List A score of 321 for five.
Alex Hughes hit the quickest fifty of the day – 32 balls – and in all he hit six fours and three sixes. Chanderpaul, less violent in style, still scored at comfortably more than a run a ball – he faced 69 balls and hit five fours and two sixes in his invaluable unbeaten 85.
Everyone was aware of the Essex batsmen’s fire-power and knew that, even with such a daunting total, they would be very capable of chasing such a target. Mark Turner took two early wickets to keep them in check before Pettini and Shah shared a stand of 61 in ten overs. Three vital wickets fell in four overs, two of them to Tim Groenewald and one to Mark Footitt who had Foster caught on the boundary aiming a hook shot.
This put Essex in the precarious position of 130 for five, but it was at this point that Napier joined Pettini. Napier showed his six-hitting talent. In only sixteen balls he struck 38 runs including four sixes, but he was well caught by Madsen at extra-cover from a skyer off Footitt. Mahmood followed in the same over, but Essex were not done yet. Even though Pettini was caught off Alex Hughes for a 68-ball 88, Phillips and Masters kept the run-chase going with a ninth-wicket partnership of 52 in less than six overs.
Phillips was well caught low down at backward point by Turner, and Masters soon followed, bowled by Hughes. Thus, amid much rejoicing, Derbyshire had beaten their more-fancied rivals by a comfortable 63 runs, a very satisfying and well deserved result. Kim Barnett was present and he made the Man of the Match presentation to Alex Hughes for his all-round performance.
Derbyshire have now played five of their twelve Yorkshire Bank 40 matches and earned six points. Their next home match in this competition will be at Derby on 20th June when Scotland will be our visitors.
Derbyshire 321 for 5 dec (40 overs) (S Chanderpaul 85*, WJ Durston71, AL Hughes 59*, WL Madsen 33; SI Mahmood 2 for 48)
Essex 258 (33.1 overs) (ML Pettini 88, GR Napier 38, TJ Phillips 36, OA Shah 24; MHA Footitt 3 for 40, AL Hughes 3 for 56, ML Turner 2 for 37, TD Groenewald 2 for 68)
Derbyshire (2 points) beat Essex by 63 runs
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