Leicestershire v Derbyshire at Grace Road on 29th June: Friends Life t20: North Division
By John Brown
Derbyshire travelled for the second consecutive day to play their second match in this shortest version of the competitions played by the first-class counties.
This time they visited Leicestershire where the home team won the toss and asked Derbyshire to bat first. After his Man of the Match performance of the previous evening, Jon Clare failed to pass a fitness test, but he is not expected to be out for long.
As is their usual pattern Wes Durston played the supporting role while Chesney Hughes hit freely at the other end. When Hughes was caught in the fifth over he had scored 34 (20 balls – 4 fours and 2 sixes) of his team’s 48. Shivnarine Chanderpaul took his time at first, but raised his personal strike-rate with apparent ease. Durston and Chanderpaul stayed together for eleven overs and added 94 in that time before the latter was bowled for a 29-ball 38. Durston (62 balls – 5 fours and 2 sixes) was bowled from the fifth ball of the twentieth over having constructed an invaluable 83.
173 was a good total, but Derbyshire were very aware of how dangerous the Leicestershire top order could be. If they had any doubts, Cobb soon reminded them of his strength as he took advantage of the fielding restrictions to take his team to fifty from only twenty-seven balls. When he was well caught by Billy Godleman from a swirling skyer at extra-cover, Burns continued the run-chase at comfortably more than the required rate.
Dan Redfern took a wicket with his second ball and again proved that his value as an effective off-spinner may have been under-rated in the past. He, together with David Wainwright bowling his slow left-armers, first checked the rate at which Leicestershire were scoring and then began to take wickets. After almost thirteen overs the hosts had reached 119 for three, and thus needed only 55 from seven overs with seven wickets still to fall.
Wainwright had already taken a superb diving catch to his right at deep mid-off, and now he took three wickets in six balls to finish with three wickets for 24 from his four overs. Redfern was just as economical in his four overs and took one wicket fewer. Leicestershire slumped from 119 for three to 123 for seven and thus went from near-certain winners to more-than-likely losers.
Albie Morkel and Durston took a wicket each before Tim Groenewald picked up the ball in his follow-through and finished the job with a smart run out at the keeper’s end.
So Leicestershire were bowled out with ten balls remaining to leave Derbyshire victorious from the most unlikely of positions for the second day running. While it would be unrealistic to expect their winning run to continue for the rest of the campaign, these two results show that the team has plenty of fighting spirit and a lack of willingness to give up when things are not going their way, with skipper Wayne Madsen setting a fine example with his fielding and leadership..
At this very early stage in the t20 competition Derbyshire are the only county to have won two matches and earned four points. During the coming week they will be meeting two other unbeaten teams, Lancashire (Tuesday – 7.10pm) and Nottinghamshire (Friday – 7.00pm), both of them floodlit matches. These two clubs have both won the only match they have played, and they will be determined to put a stop to Derbyshire’s successful start. Derbyshire deserve plenty of support, and large crowds are hoped for.
Derbyshire 173 for 3 (20 overs) (WJ Durston 83, S Chanderpaul 38, CF Hughes 34)
Leicestershire 149 (18.2 overs) (JJ Cobb 47, JA Burns 36; DJ Wainwright 3 for 24, DJ Redfern 2 for 24, JA Morkel 2 for 34)
Derbyshire (2 points) beat Leicestershire by 24 runs
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