Gloucestershire v Derbyshire at Cheltenham on 14 to 17 July: LV=County Championship: Division Two
By John Brown
Derbyshire chased down 204 inside two sessions to claim victory on the final day of a thrilling LV= County Championship fixture versus Gloucestershire at Cheltenham.
Gloucestershire won the toss at this beautiful venue and chose to bat on what was expected to be a batsman-friendly pitch. Derbyshire’s bowlers started well and, when Tom Taylor had Alex Gidman caught at slip in the eighteenth over, Gloucestershire had scored at less than two an over.
When lunch came the home team had scored only 77 for two from thirty-two overs. Runs came rather more easily during the afternoon, but Palladino took two wickets before tea and Taylor two more before the close.
One of these was Tavare who had made a solid 135, although Will Gidman was still there on 88. Derbyshire had every reason to feel satisfied with the close-of-play score of 304 for six on what had been a hard day for the fielding side.
On the second morning Taylor took two more wickets to record his first first-class five-wicket haul, a fine performance for a young man who has not yet left his teenage years. Although there was an irritating tenth-wicket stand of twenty-seven Gloucestershire were all out for 356.
Derbyshire v Essex at Chesterfield on 7 to 10 July: LV=County Championship: Division Two
By John Brown
The main match in the 2014 Old Speckled Hen Festival of Cricket at Queen’s Park, Chesterfield, was this championship match with Essex.
Wayne Madsen won the toss and chose to bat first on what was expected to be a good batting pitch. Ben Slater, playing his first first-class match of the season on his home club’s ground, and Paul Borrington started well before Borrington was unlucky to be caught down the leg-side.
When lunch was taken at 96 for three, the match seemed in the balance, but it swung Derbyshire’s way when Madsen and Wes Durston, making a welcome return to the first eleven, stayed together throughout the afternoon session.
Durston glanced the first ball of the post-tea session to the fine-leg boundary only to be clattered on the helmet from the next ball, bowled by Napier. He was concussed and took no part in the match for the next two days, but happily he felt fit enough to take part on the fourth day.
Durston’s retirement changed the whole complexion of the game and Derbyshire lost their last six wickets for only 49 runs after they had looked set to reach a score in excess of 350. Madsen had made a fine ninety from 178 balls, while the more aggressive Durston had reached 74 from 118 balls.
Kent v Derbyshire at Canterbury on 22 to 25 June: LV= County Championship: Division Two
By John Brown
Derbyshire travelled south for this midsummer fixture with Kent. Kent won the toss and chose to bat first on a rare hot sunny day.
Rob Key was lucky to survive a catch from a Mark Footitt no ball when he had scored fourteen but, when David Wainwright came on to bowl, he was stumped off his second ball. Harmison fell to Wainwright eight overs later and Kent continued to lose wickets to the persevering Derbyshire attack through most of the day.
Bell-Drummond and Steven added 91 for the fifth wicket, after which Tony Palladino had an inspired spell during which he took four wickets for five runs in twenty-three balls. So Kent finished the first day on 259 for eight, and Derbyshire had every reason to feel satisfied with their performance. Bell-Drummond had batted with strong defence and determination (268 balls) to complete his first championship hundred.
The second morning did not go to plan for Derbyshire as the Kent tail-enders stayed longer than expected and added a further 74 runs in twenty-five overs.
Stephen Moore and Paul Borrington survived the five overs before lunch, taken with the score on 18 for no wicket, fourteen of the runs having been conceded in extras.
Derbyshire v Surrey at Derby on 15 to 18 June: LV= County Championship: Division Two
By John Brown
Following their win in the previous match with Leicestershire, Derbyshire went into this match with increased confidence and hopes that they would be able to continue their improved performance into the next few matches. Wayne Madsen won the toss and chose to bat first on a pitch which was hard and expected to favour batsmen.
Unfortunately for Derbyshire the overhead conditions were helpful to swing bowlers and the conditions probably deteriorated during the day. The early batsmen were made to work hard for their runs, and they struggled to reach 77 for three before lunch. After about half-an-hour after the interval, Dernbach had a golden spell when he took three wickets in eight balls, one of them being that of Marcus North who had looked sounder than most in his sixty-seven ball 44.
Thereafter Gareth Cross played a few strong strokes, but Derbyshire were dismissed for a very disappointing 153, with Tom Curran having taken a career-best five for 51.
Mark Footitt struck with the second ball of the Surrey innings, but they survived for the rest of the day which was curtailed by bad light (34 overs lost in all) to finish on 44 for one. Tom Taylor took his first first-class wicket when he trapped Hashim Amla lbw, but Ansari continued to bat doggedly while his new partner, Solanki, played with much more flair to reach his fifty from fifty-nine balls. Davies joined Ansari and together they added 140 for the fourth wicket – by now it was clear that conditions were much better for batting, but Derbyshire’s bowlers persevered in difficult circumstances.
SECOND XI: Derbyshire v Durham at Ticknall CC, on 16 June: Second XI One-Day Trophy
Wes Durston hit a half-century and Matt Higginbottom impressed with the ball, but Durham Second XI claimed a narrow two-wicket win in the One-Day Trophy fixture at Ticknall CC.
After winning the toss and electing to bat first, Durston topscored with 59 off 70 balls (5 fours, 2 sixes), while Chesney Hughes hit 46 off 38 balls (5 fours, 2 sixes) and Tom Wood added 41 off 51 balls (4 fours).
But five wickets for Matt Milnes (5-39)and three for Gareth Breese (3-46) helped dismiss the hosts for 243 in 47.5 overs.
Calum McLeod led the Durham reply with 90 off 138 balls (7 fours), but Derbyshire responded through Higginbottom who was the pick of the bowlers with figures of 2-23 off his 10 overs, while Ben Cotton (2-51) also claimed two scalps.
But 39 off 48 balls from Ryan Buckley saw the visitors home in the penultimate over, with Durham 244-8.
Leicestershire v Derbyshire at Grace Road, Leicester on 8 to 11 June: LV= County Championship: Division Two
By John Brown
Derbyshire made the short journey for this fixture versus Leicestershire.The home team won the toss and chose to bat first, but they must have wondered whether they had made the right decision when they slipped quickly to 11 for three in the third over.
Mark Footitt and Tony Palladino responded with some aggressive new-ball bowling. Cobb joined Eckersley and was so nearly caught at mid-off which would have made the score 17 for four, but David Wainwright was just unable to cling on to a diving effort. This pair gradually established themselves and they had added 100 together before they were both out in quick succession.
With the score on 113 for five, Derbyshire had every reason to feel pleased with themselves, but two good stands rescued Leicestershire and helped to take them past three hundred with three batting bonus points. Footitt finished with six wickets and Palladino four.
Stephen Moore and Paul Borrington stayed together until the close, taken after nine overs with the score on twelve for no wicket. The Leicestershire seamers continued to make runs hard to come by on the second day, so it was not until the forty-fourth over that Derbyshire reached one hundred. They were at their lowest point when the score slumped to 115 for six, but Alex Hughes continued his good run of form together with Wainwright who showed his usual fighting qualities.
Hampshire v Derbyshire at Southampton on 1 to 4 June: LV= County Championship: Division Two
By John Brown
Derbyshire travelled south for the return match with Hampshire and, on winning the toss, Wayne Madsen asked Hampshire to bat first on a green-looking pitch.
Hampshire’s openers soon showed that the pitch was not going to be as helpful to the seam bowlers as had been expected as they took their team to 110 without loss before lunch.
Derbyshire were given fresh hope when Tony Palladino dismissed Adams with the first ball after the interval and then took two more wickets in his next two overs. Hampshire were now 118 for three, but Smith and Wheater, who was dropped behind the wicket when he had scored only six, steadied things as they added 109 for the fourth wicket. Although Palladino broke this partnership at 227, Hampshire continued to add runs, with useful contributions coming from Ervine and Bates.
The home team had reached 332 for seven by the close and they continued for just over an hour on the second morning to take their final total to 388. Derbyshire took their ninth wicket just in time to earn a third bowling point, although their over-rate had been such that they would need to improve that rate in the second innings if they were to avoid the frustration of being deducted two of those bowling points.
Northamptonshire v Derbyshire at Stowe School on 27 May: Second XI 3-Day Friendly
Paul Borrington hit a century, but no result was possible after heavy rain washed out the majority of the three-day friendly against Northamptonshire at Stowe School.
Rain washed away the opening two days, but with an improved forecast for the final day, a 40-over match was agreed between the two sides.
Derbyshire posted 247 off their 40 overs, with Borrington top scoring with 100 while Ben Slater added 74.
Northamptonshire reached 127-3 in reply before rain returned and the match was abandoned with no result possible.
Derbyshire v Gloucestershire at Derby on 25 to 28 May: LV= County Championship: Division Two
By John Brown
Heavy overnight rain delayed the start of this championship match, but conditions improved enough for play to begin at 1.45pm on the first day. Gloucestershire won the toss and chose to field first and they were rewarded with a wicket in the second over.
Paul Borrington and Wayne Madsen then battled hard on a slow pitch to take Derbyshire to tea at 74 for one. In only three overs after the interval, however, both Borrington and Madsen had gone, Borrington to an unfortunate run out after he was sent back late while considering a third run. The battle for survival continued, but wickets fell regularly to reduce Derbyshire to 153 for six.
Scott Elstone, playing only his second first-class match, looked more assured than most and he was still there at the close with Derbyshire on 166 for six.
Elstone had been joined by David Wainwright and on the second morning this pair played very well together to take their partnership to seventy from twenty-seven overs before Elstone fell lbw after scoring his maiden first-class fifty from 122 balls.
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