By John Brown
Derbyshire v Yorkshire at Chesterfield on 18 to 21 July: LV=County Championship: Division 2
Derbyshire’s eagerly-awaited championship match with close promotion rivals, Yorkshire, seemed threatened by a poor weather forecast.
Most surprisingly there was virtually a full day’s play on the first day with only one over being lost to the weather. Yorkshire won the toss and chose to bat first on a pitch which proved to be slow with occasional variable bounce.
Tim Groenewald bowled a challenging opening spell during which he took the wickets of both openers. Before Jaques and Bairstow, the latter rested from the England Test team, started to build what seemed a comfortable position for the visitors, but Tony Palladino produced a beauty to bowl Bairstow after this pair had added 51 for the third wicket.
Now Ballance joined his captain, Jaques, and they added a further 81 for the fourth wicket. It was at this point, with Yorkshire on 175 for three, that Mark Turner had a golden spell during which he took three wickets in twelve balls.
Wes Durston had bowled a fine spell of controlled off-spin and he also took two wickets so Yorkshire had lost five wickets for only ten runs. The score now was 185 for eight and, if Patterson had been caught at slip before he had scored, and Steve Harmison, on loan from Durham, had not been dropped from a skyer to mid-wicket, Yorkshire would have been dismissed for less than 200.
As it was they were all out for 219, a much healthier position for Derbyshire than had once seemed likely. The wickets had been shared by three bowlers, Groenewald, Turner and Durston with three apiece.
Derbyshire started promisingly, with Matt Lineker, playing his first first-team game of the season, looking especially fluent through the covers. They were helped on their way by some wayward bowling from Harmison whose first three overs went for 27.
Derbyshire had reached 70 for the loss of only one wicket, but they spoilt a strong position with a series of ill-judged shots.
Quite quickly 70 for one became 105 for seven with three wickets being gifted to the still wayward Harmison in his second spell.
It was left to Richard Johnson, Derbyshire’s stand-in wicket-keeper, on loan from Warwickshire, and Palladino, who struck four fours in one Harmison over to bring Derbyshire a little nearer respectability before the close which came with the score on 135 for seven, still 84 adrift.
Rain fell overnight, making an already soft outfield too wet for any cricket on the second day, and the umpires made an early inspection on the third morning and soon decided that there could be no play on this day either.
After early mist on the fourth morning the sun shone warmly on the ground and the few hundred spectators who were hoping to see some cricket, but once again the umpires decided that there were too many unsafe areas in the outfield and called the game off without any play for three successive days.
So the match was abandoned with each county having gained six points, very frustrating since cricket was being played elsewhere around the country and potential rivals were taking the opportunity to earn more points than the two counties involved in this match.
Yorkshire 219 (56.1 overs) (PA Jaques 61, GS Balance 46, JM Bairstow 27; WJ Durston 3 for 23, TD Groenewald 3 for 38, ML Turner 3 for 53)
Derbyshire 135 for 7 (38 overs) (MS Lineker 33, AP Palladino 21*; SJ Harmison 3 for 49, MA Ashraf 2 for 13)
Match Abandoned as a Draw - Derbyshire (6 points) Yorkshire (6)
By John Brown
Derbyshire started their Chesterfield week by playing host to the Unicorns team in the first of their return matches in this competition.
Richard Johnson, on short-term loan from Warwickshire, made his Derbyshire debut as wicket-keeper in place of the injured Tom Poynton.
The visitors won the toss and asked Derbyshire to bat first, whereupon Usman Khawaja and Chesney Hughes set about building a large opening partnership.
They stayed together until the twenty-sixth over when Hughes (74 balls) skyed a catch to extra cover with the score on 138.
Wes Durston stayed with Khawaja while another 66 runs were added at which point Khawaja, who had reached his first one-day hundred for Derbyshire from 102 balls (10 fours and two sixes), was bowled attempting a reverse sweep.
Thereafter only Durston made any headway while during the last five overs Derbyshire lost seven wickets while scoring thirty-four runs.
The Unicorns set off at a good pace in chasing their target of 236 with Wadlan hitting five fours in the first seven overs.
Jon Clare and Durston slowed the scoring rate with some accurate bowling, but, with their score on 100 for two just past the halfway stage, the Unicorns looked to have laid the foundations ready for an acceleration.
It was in this over, however, that they lost two wickets and had Craig Park, brother of Garry, been caught at the wicket from his first ball, Derbyshire would have been well on top.
As it happened Park helped Reece to add 45 in nine overs, so the Unicorns needed nine runs an over from their last ten overs.
Try as they would, this proved beyond them, and wickets fell regularly until they were bowled out for exactly 200. So Derbyshire had won by 35 runs with seven balls remaining.
This result leaves Derbyshire mid-table in their group, although Yorkshire, their opponents next Sunday, are only one point behind with two games in hand.
Derbyshire 235 for 7 (40 overs) (UT Khawaja 104, CF Hughes 66, WJ Durston 44; SP Cheetham 2 for 40, LC Beaven 2 for 46, G Querl 2 for 55)
Unicorns 200 (40 overs) (LM Reece 59, TJ New 31, BL Wadlan 29; ML Turner 4 for 54, WJ Durston 2 for 30)
Derbyshire (2 points) beat Unicorns (0) by 35 runs
By John Brown
Derbyshire resumed their Clydesdale Bank 40 campaign with a visit to Northampton where Wayne Madsen won the toss and chose to field first.
Mark Turner took two wickets in his opening four overs and, if Wakely had been caught off Turner’s bowling when he had scored only two, Northamptonshire would have been in deep trouble.
As it was Wakely survived this difficult chance at the wicket and he and Sales went on to add an imposing 152 for the third wicket.
Northamptonshire took their batting Powerplay in the thirty-fifth over and immediately Turner took two more wickets. Groenewald also took two wickets in his two-over spell so the home side had lost four wickets for 24 in their Powerplay.
Two run outs followed in the last two overs of the innings, so Derbyshire had every reason to feel pleased with the way their spell in the field had finished. In six overs six wickets had fallen while only 32 runs were scored.
When Derbyshire started their innings in pursuit of 221 runs to win, Chesney Hughes hit three fours in the first four overs, but a black cloud could be seen approaching the ground and, after only 6.1 overs, the rain began to fall.
It was so heavy that it soon became clear that there could be no further play on this day. The umpires abandoned the match at 7.30pm, just thirty minutes after the rain had started.
So, since the minimum ten overs which needed to be bowled in order to constitute a match were not completed, both sides took one point.
Derbyshire’s next match is on Sunday at Chesterfield when the visitors will be The Unicorns – 1.45pm start.
Northamptonshire 220 for 8 (40 overs) (AG Wakley 85, DJG Sales 74, DJ Willey 21; ML Turner 4 for 38, TD Groenewald 2 for 42)
Derbyshire 19 for 1 (6.1 overs) (CF Hughes 16)
Match Abandoned - Derbyshire (1 point), Northamptonshire (1)
By John Brown
Derbyshire travelled to Headingley for the last match of their t20 campaign.
Wayne Madsen won the toss and chose to field first, but Yorkshire took advantage of some wayward early bowling and the opening pair of Lyth and Jaques added 131 in fifteen overs before the first wicket fell.
Of the seven bowlers used, only Wes Durston conceded fewer than five runs an over, so Yorkshire were able to set a challenging total of 180 from their twenty overs.
Derbyshire lost both their openers in the first four overs, and they were always struggling to match the required run-rate thereafter.
Chesney Hughes and Madsen added 55 in less than seven overs and when Madsen was out at exactly the halfway stage, Derbyshire still needed another 107 from the last ten overs.
Jon Clare hit a brisk fourteen while Garry Park played in his usual busy manner, but it was an innings of powerful hitting from Rana Naved-ul-Hasan which temporarily gave the Yorkshire side some anxiety.
He hit three straight sixes in three balls from Pyrah and finished that sixteenth over with three twos. Twelve runs came from the seventeenth over, so Derbyshire now needed a “mere” thirty-two from the last three overs.
Lyth took a good catch in the deep to dismiss Park, however, and the eighth wicket fell in the same over. Although Naved (22 balls) hit strongly in his only innings of any substance for his team, he was unable to find the boundary again and Derbyshire fell twenty-two runs short of their target.
This result meant that Derbyshire had finished fifth in the Northern group of six counties, while Yorkshire had qualified for a home draw in the quarter-finals.
Yorkshire 180 for 5 (20 overs) (A Lyth 78, PA Jaques 64; R Naved 2 for 38)
Derbyshire 159 for 9 (20 overs) (R Naved 40*, CF Hughes 30, GT Park 25, WL Madsen 21; MA Ashraf 3 for 24, MA Starc 2 for 27)
Yorkshire (2 points) beat Derbyshire (0) by 21 runs
Derbyshire travelled to Old Trafford for the return match against the only team they had defeated in this competition so far in 2012.
Wayne Madsen won the toss and chose to field first. Moore was stumped by Tom Poynton off Wes Durston in the first over of the innings, but Smith and Croft then added 54 in 8.3 overs for the second wicket.
Rana Naved-ul-Hasan and Tom Knight slowed the scoring rate and the eight wickets to fall were shared amongst four bowlers. The pitch seemed to be slow and unhelpful for stroke play: Lancashire reached the boundary on only six occasions, the last of them being the fifth over, and they were only able to reach the modest score of 122 in their twenty overs.
Derbyshire knew that they would have to bat well if they were to reach what was likely to be a trickier target than the numbers would suggest. Their openers, Durston and Usman Khawaja, played the first 2.3 overs carefully to score ten runs and then Durston used his feet to hit the three remaining balls of the over from Croft for straight sixes. While Khawaja played steadily, Durston kept playing shots and he made his fifty off only 24 balls with five fours and three sixes.
Durston’s fifty arrived during the six-over Powerplay and it seemed unlikely that Derbyshire would fail to win. Parry and Keedy both bowled very well and runs became much more difficult to come by. When Durston was stumped and Khawaja bowled in the tenth over from Keedy, Derbyshire needed 46 runs in ten overs with eight wickets in hand.
It should have been straightforward, but there seemed to be some anxiety and nerves about and five more wickets fell before Naved came in to play the only ball he faced through the covers for four. Chesney Hughes had kept his head and made sure that the possible disaster was avoided.
Thus Derbyshire won by three wickets with seven balls remaining: there was no doubt that Durston would be named the Man of the Match for his outstanding 56 to follow his two wickets at a cost of only four runs an over.
This win lifted Derbyshire back above Leicestershire again, and left their supporters thinking, “If only…”. Two more wins would have seen them challenging for a place in Finals day, and the players all know that they should have won both their matches against Leicestershire.
Lancashire 122 for 8 (SJ Croft 48, PJ Horton 27*; R Naved-ul-Hasan 3 for 20, WJ Durston 2 for 16, TD Groenewald 2 for 25)
Derbyshire 124 for 7 (18.5 overs) (WJ Durston 56, CJ Hughes 24*; G Keedy 2 for 20, G Chapple 2 for 32)
Derbyshire (2 points) beat Lancashire (0) by 3 wickets
Derbyshire hosted their near-neighbours Leicestershire in a match which started at the unusually late time of 7.30pm since the Olympic torch was being carried through the city streets.
Wayne Madsen won the toss and chose to bat first with a team which showed three changes from that which had played against Durham two days earlier.
Despite the loss of Usman Khawaja in the third over, Derbyshire batted much better than they had in most of the earlier games in this competition.
Wes Durston played the anchor role while Chesney Hughes (31 balls), Madsen (19 balls) and then GarryPark (10 balls) played strokes with some success.
There were partnerships of 70 (54 balls), 54 (33 balls) and a final flurry saw 30 come from the last seventeen balls. Durston’s fifty, made from 48 balls, was the first such landmark for Derbyshire in this season’s t20 matches.
Derbyshire started with high hopes of being able to defend a total of 171, but Razzaq and Cobb played with aggressive freedom – when Razzaq was caught at cover this pair had put on 66 for the first wicket in less than six overs. Leicestershire were definitely on top at this stage, and it took a series of excellent overs by Rana Naved-ul-Hasan and Alex Hughes to bring Derbyshire back into the game.
Naved gave away only five runs in his first two overs, by far the most impressive spell of bowling he had produced in his short time with the county, while Hughes conceded a mere twelve from his three-over spell.
Leicestershire needed 54 runs from the last five overs, and when Park and Naved bowled the seventeenth and eighteenth overs for only eight runs (and two wickets) the match seemed as good as won by Derbyshire.
The visitors still needed thirty-five runs but the nineteenth over went for a crucial twenty-three runs, including a Wide ball which went to the boundary.
When Naved started the last over eleven runs were needed and only four came from the first three balls. White flicked the fourth ball at catchable height to fine-leg just inside the fielding circle, but the fielder seemed to lose the ball and three runs ensued. Now five were needed – the batsmen ran a bye to the wicket-keeper and White snicked the last ball to the third man boundary for what had seemed an unlikely win.
It had been an exciting game of cricket, although it was most frustrating for the team and for their supporters that all the good work had been undone right at the end.
Derbyshire travel to Old Trafford on Sunday (2.30pm) for their next match and they will be at home to Nottinghamshire next Friday evening (7pm start).
Derbyshire 171 for 3 (20 overs) (WJ Durston 55*, CF Hughes 48, WL Madsen 33, GT Park 20*)
Leicestershire 173 for 6 (20 overs) (JJ Cobb 42, A Razzaq 28, MAG Boyce 25, RR Sarwan 22)
Leicestershire (2 points) beat Derbyshire (0) by 4 wickets
By John Brown
On a grey humid evening Derbyshire won the toss and chose to bat in their return match with Durham. They scored ten runs off the first over, but thereafter it was quite a struggle.Two wickets fell in the third and fourth overs and by the end of the six-over Powerplay only 29 runs had been scored.
Usman Khawaja and Wayne Madsen added 52 for the third wicket, but at only a run a ball, before Khawaja was caught on the boundary’s edge at long-on.
After fifteen overs the score was an unthreatening 82 for five, and it took some inventive stroke play by Garry Park and bold hitting from Jon Clare together with a last-over six by Tom Poynton to take the total to a more respectable 131 for seven.
This was a target which was unlikely to give Durham many problems unless early wickets fell. After four overs Durham had reached 32 without loss of which Mustard had hit 25. From this point on Herschelle Gibbs did most of the scoring: of the next hundred runs scored he hit 77 of them from only 49 balls. He hit powerfully, being especially harsh on Chesney Hughes and Rana Naved-ul-Hasan, and he ensured that his team got home with eight wickets and seventeen balls in hand.
Mark Turner and David Wainwright were once again the most economical bowlers for Derbyshire and they deserved batter for their efforts.
Derbyshire now have four matches remaining in this competition, the next being against Leicestershire at Derby on Friday (7.30pm start), followed by an away match at Headingley on Sunday (2.30pm start).
Derbyshire 131 for 7 (20 overs) (UT Khawaja 33, GT Park 29*, WL Madsen 27; SG Borthweick 2 for 23, C Rushworth 2 for 30)
Durham 132 for 2 (17.1 overs) (HH Gibbs 83*, P Mustard 35; D Wainwright 1 for 18)
Durham (2 points) beat Derbyshire (0) by 8 wickets
On yet another foul evening, it seemed most unlikely that this match would be able to start, but the skies cleared for a while and the umpires decided that play could start at 7.35pm with the teams contesting an eight-overs per side match.
Wayne Madsen won the toss and decided to field first. Jon Clare, playing his first match this season in this competition, took a Leicestershire wicket in his first over, but the remaining batsmen played shots at every ball and finally amassed 80 runs from their eight overs.
It seemed likely that Derbyshire would pay heavily for the three No balls bowled by their overseas Twenty20 specialist, Rana Naved-ul-Hasan. The runs conceded as a result of these three deliveries and the consequent extra balls and free hits cost the team fourteen runs.
Wes Durston set Derbyshire on their way as he hit three fours in the first over of the innings, but the next over saw two wickets fall so Derbyshire were on the back foot again. They were only able to score seventeen from the next four overs bowled by Taylor, Hoggard and Henderson with Taylor conceding only seven runs from his two overs.
So Derbyshire needed a well-nigh impossible forty-one from their last two overs: Jon Clare hit boldly to help to take twenty off the penultimate over, but only twelve came from the last, during which two wickets fell. Madsen hit his first ball over the wicket-keeper’s head to raise fleeting hopes that he could see his team home, but it was not to be and, at 8.52pm, Derbyshire lost by eight runs in light which would certainly have been too dark for first-class cricket to continue.
This proved to be a disappointing and frustrating result which left Derbyshire in fifth position and Leicestershire, for whom this was their first win, in bottom place in the North Division.
Leicestershire 80 for 3 (8 overs) (GP Smith 23, JJ Cobb 17, MAG Boyce 16*; JL Clare 1 for 12)
Derbyshire 72 for 6 (8 overs) (WJ Durston 21, JL Clare 17*; Abdul Razzaq 3 for 20, RML Taylor 2 for 7)
Leicestershire (2 points) beat Derbyshire (0) by 8 runs
Derbyshire won the toss on a fine evening and chose to bat first in their first meeting of the season with Durham. They lost a wicket to Plunkett in the first over, but Ross Whiteley played some bold shots as he hit four boundaries in his sixteen-ball innings.
After Whiteley was out, Usman Khawaja (31 balls) and Wayne Madsen (30 balls) stayed together for nine overs and added a valuable 66 together, although probably not quite as quickly as they would have liked.
This pair were both dismissed within six balls of each other, after which Chesney Hughes was the only batsman to make progress at the required rate: he hit 18 off only nine balls, but the remaining batsmen scored at less than one run a ball, and 141 was a disappointing score from twenty overs.
In reply Durham started quickly for the first two overs, but wickets to Mark Turner and Tim Groenewald in the third and fourth overs raised Derbyshire’s hopes. Gibbs and Myburgh, a recent recruit for Durham, copied Derbyshire’s third wicket pair in adding 67 from nine overs.
Two quick wickets – 87 for four – put Derbyshire ahead by the Duckworth/Lewis method, but Myburgh and Muchall took sixteen from the sixteenth over and put Durham firmly on their way again.
Even though Turner took his second wicket at the end of the seventeenth over, sixteen runs off the next over left Durham needing only six runs from the last two overs, a task which they achieved with seven balls to spare.
This defeat means that Derbyshire will need a series of successes in their remaining six matches if they are to have any realistic chance of qualifying for the semi-final stages of this competition.
They now have two matches away from home – against Leicestershire at Grace Road on Friday and the return match with Durham at Chester-le-Street next Wednesday.
Their next match at home will be against Leicestershire on Friday 29th June with a 7pm start.
Derbyshire 141 (20 overs) (UT Kwaja 36, WL Madsen 26; LE Plunkett 2 for 22, SG Borthwick 2 for 22, ME Claydon 2 for 31)
Durham 142 for 5 (18.5 overs) (JG Myburgh 46, HH Gibbs 38, GJ Muchall 21*; ML Turner 2 for 18)
Durham (2 points) beat Derbyshire (0) by 5 wickets
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