At last the weather relented and cricket could be played in conditions which were more suitable for all involved. On the first day of this match the temperature was in the high twenties, andEssexwon the toss and chose to bat. They seemed to be setting a platform for the expected large total, but the runs came slowly and wickets fell at regular intervals.
Tim Groenewald and Ross Whiteley dismissed the openers in the first twenty overs, but it was when David Wainwright was introduced in the twenty-sixth over that the first really significant wicket fell.
His very first ball spun sharply and lifted to take the outside edge of Shah who had just returned from a spell playing in theIPLand wicket-keeper Tom Poynton took an excellent catch.
Pettini set out to provide the backbone to theEssexinnings, but he lost two more partners when Wainwright started a second spell: these two wickets fell in his first over, so at 101 for five,Essex were in trouble. Pettini was supported first by Greg Smith, then by Masters, in two stands which added 65 between them in a painstaking thirty-one overs.
Essex’s last four wickets added only sixteen runs, and Derbyshire had every right to feel pleased to have dismissed their hosts for a meagre 182. Wainwright finished with five for 51 on a pitch which should have favoured batsmen: it was remarkable in that he had bowled three separate spells and taken a wicket with the first ball of each – and it was his third five-wicket haul of the season.
Derbyshire were made to work very hard by the experienced opening pair of Essex bowlers, but they survived fifteen overs for the loss of only one wicket before the close – 37 for one.
Martin Guptill and Wayne Madsen scored at almost a run a minute for the first fifty minutes on the second morning: Guptill was out after they had added 81 for the second wicket and then Wes Durston made sure that Derbyshire’s good progress was maintained with a partnership of 77 for the third wicket. Madsen seemed unlucky to be given out caught at the wicket soon after he had reached a hard-earned fifty from 126 balls.
Durston continued in fine fluent form and he reached an excellent hundred in only 110 balls with eight fours and two sixes. At one stage it looked as though Derbyshire would go on and make a large total, but several middle-order batsmen were guilty of over-ambitious shots. The score slipped from 232 for four to 278 for nine with leg-spinner Craddock causing most of the misjudgements. Tim Groenewald joined Tom Poynton in the hope that they might score the twenty-two runs needed to earn a third batting point.
For some seasons now Poynton has shown promise, but he chose this moment to hint at the fulfilment to come. In just over five overs Derbyshire’s last pair added another 45 and Poynton completed his maiden first-class fifty in only 35 balls including seven fours and two sixes. Groenewald hit a six of his own and this partnership definitely put Derbyshire on the front foot for the start of theEssexsecond innings.
Groenewald continued his good work by having both Essex openers caught in the slips in his first two overs. Shah and Pettini survived until the end of the day withEssexon 46 for two, still 95 runs in arrears.
This pair continued for another thirty minutes on the third morning before Pettini was caught off Wainwright, who then bowled Foakes in his next over. At 77 for four Essex were in real trouble, but Shah and James Foster battled hard for eighteen overs in adding fifty at which point Shah missed an intended pull from a ball bowled by Durston which went behind his legs to hit his leg-stump.
Foster played with care as he sought lasting support from his fellow-batsmen, but wickets continued to fall so that, at 183 for seven, Essex were only 42 runs ahead with three wickets remaining. Now Foster changed gear: while Derbyshire set their fields deep, Foster refused the many easy singles on offer and played big shots when the field came closer at the end of each over. In fifteen overs the last three wickets added another fifty-one runs, all of them except one extra from the bat of Foster.
Tony Palladino eventually trapped him lbw, so Derbyshire were left with a target of 94 in thirty-one overs plus a full day.
Guptill and Paul Borrington made sure that they did not lose any wickets to the new ball, and they scored only five runs in the first five overs. At this point Guptill drove Willoughby back over his head for six, a feat which he repeated in Willoughby’s next over. Thereafter the runs came at almost eight runs an over, mostly scored by Guptill who reached his fifty from 42 balls, although Borrington played a few shots of his own as victory came near. This was the first time Derbyshire had won a game at this Chelmsford ground since 1937, a fact which made the success all the more welcome.
This ten-wicket win had been a wonderful performance by a team which is gaining in confidence and self-belief. It takes them further ahead at the top of the Second Division, twenty-six points in front of second-placedKent. These are still early days and the team are very aware that they have still to play Kent and Yorkshire twice each and Hampshire once, but if they can keep playing the sort of cricket we have seen so far this season, then anything is possible.
Derbyshire’s next championship match starts atBristolon Wednesday, 30 May, when they play Gloucestershire in a return match.
Essex182 (79.2 overs) (ML Pettini 56, T Westley 36, OA Shah 21; DJ Wainwright 5 for 56, TD Groenewald 2 for 26) and 234 (84.2 overs) (JS Foster 96, OA Shah 75; TD Groenewald 3 for 26, DJ Wainwright 3 for 83, AP Palladino 2 for 44)
Derbyshire 323 (88.5 overs) (WJ Durston 116, T Poynton 50*, WL Madsen 50, MJ Guptill 36; TR Craddock 5 for 96, DD Master 2 for 53) and 96 for 0 (17 overs) (MJ Guptill 66*, PM Borrington 30*)
Derbyshire (22 points) beat Essex (3) by 10 wickets
By John Brown
Derbyshire travelled to Headingley for their third away match in this competition. Yorkshirewon the toss and chose to field first, whereupon Martin Guptill and Chesney Hughes got Derbyshire off to a fine start. Guptill looked in particularly ominous form as he reached his fifty in 53 balls with three sixes and four fours.
When Hughes was bowled immediately after reaching his own fifty (72 balls with four fours) the opening pair had added a fine 137 in less than twenty-five overs. This should have been the platform for an onslaught, but thereafter no-one could settle and, try as they would, the run-rate dropped and only another 82 runs were scored from the last fifteen overs.
A total of 219 was many fewer thanYorkshireshould have been challenged to chase, and they were able to take their time with comparatively little risk. Derbyshire’s front-line spinners, David Wainwright, playing against his old county for the first time, and Wes Durston, slowed the scoring for a while, but when Gary Ballance decided to raise the rate he did so with some comfort.
Ballance had started his career with Derbyshire a few years earlier, but he had been allowed to leave and now he showed his old county what they were missing. After Durston had dismissed both openers, Ballance shared consecutive partnerships of 69 and an unbroken 70 with Jaques and Root to take his team home by a comfortable seven wickets with fourteen balls to spare.
Derbyshire will have rued the fact that they were unable to make the most of what had been a most promising start as they lost their second match in this competition. Their first 40-over game at home (Derby) will be on Bank Holiday Monday, 4th June, when they will be seeking revenge for last week’s defeat by Warwickshire.
Derbyshire 219 for 8 (40 overs) (MJ Guptill 89, CF Hughes 50; MA Starc 3 for 28, A McGrath 2 for 24)
Torkshire 223 for 3 (37.4 overs) (GS Ballance 77*, PA Jaques 47, AW Gale 33, A Lyth 31, JE Root 28*; WJ Durston 2 for 40)
Yorkshire (2 points) beat Derbyshire by 7 wickets
By John Brown
On a sunny, but still chilly, day Warwickshire won the toss and asked Derbyshire to bat first. They got off to a bad start as three wickets fell in the first five overs with only 19 runs on the board. Wes Durston was the only batsman to play with any freedom and he hit 44 from 54 balls with five fours and two sixes, one of which was hit over the stand and out of the ground.
Ross Whiteley struggled, but managed to stay longer than most as he scored 20 from forty balls. Tim Groenewald played a couple of strong clouts towards the end of the innings, but an all-out total of 122 was far short of what Derbyshire would have expected to make. Rikki Clarke, once of Derbyshire, and Jeetan Patel both finished with excellent figures of three for 22 from their eight overs.
After the interval, Derbyshire hopes were raised temporarily when Groenewald dismissed Chopra from the fourth ball of the innings. This brought in Porterfield to joinEngland’s Jonathan Trott and, batting without any pressure, Porterfield drove strongly while Trott played the supporting role and took singles almost, it seemed, at will. This pair stayed until the end to give Warwickshire a nine-wicket win with more than fifteen overs to spare.
From Derbyshire’s point of view it was a day best forgotten. Their next match in this competition will be at Headingley next Sunday, 20th May.
Derbyshire 122 (31.1 overs) (WJ Durston 44, RA Whiteley 20; R Clarke 3 for 22, J Patel 3 for 22, CR Woakes 2 for 20, CJC Wright 2 for 31)
Warwickshire 125 for 1 (24.3 overs) (WTSPorterfield 81*, IJL Trott 41*)
Warwickshire (2 points) beat Derbyshire by 9 wickets
By John Brown
The weather on the first two days of this match could hardly have been worse: the umpires had hoped that play would be possible on the second afternoon, but more rain ruled out that possibility. When play did start on a much brighter third day Derbyshire won the toss and chose to field first on a pitch which it was hoped would help the seamers.
Although Dawson fell early to the accurate Tony Palladino, Hampshire’s next pair prospered on a pitch which proved to be much slower and lower than expected. Adams and Shafayat, making his county debut, added 164 in 39 overs for the second wicket. Although Derbyshire persevered, and wickets fell regularly, Hampshire will have felt that they had had the better of the day as they finished on 352 for eight from their 96 overs.
Hampshire declared overnight, but there were no arrangements or forfeitures, and Derbyshire set off to score as many as they could and hope to pick up some more batting bonus points. They started badly, however, with their first three batsmen all falling to catches at second slip. Wes Durstonand Dan Redfern stayed together and their stroke-play became ever more fluent. They stayed until lunch, taken at 127 for three, and continued afterwards until their partnership was broken after they had added 178, only 18 short of Derbyshire’s record for this wicket against Hampshire.Durston reached his hundred from only 97 balls with 16 fours and three sixes, and he hit two more sixes before he was out.
Redfern batted on beautifully and he too completed his century, his second of the season (and career): he was eventually out for 133 from 161 balls (18 fours and a six). Ross Whiteley, David Wainwright, Jon Clare and Tom Poynton all made useful contributions, but it was the last wicket partnership between Palladino and Tim Groenewald which made the day for Derbyshire. When they came together Derbyshire were still 41 runs short of their fifth batting bonus point: there were still twenty overs remaining, but even though Hampshire claimed the second new ball, they looked in little trouble and Palladino finished the job with three fours in five balls.
Derbyshire declared immediately and the teams shook hands at the end of two interesting days.
Hampshire 352 for 8 dec (96 overs) (JHK Adams 122, BM Shafayat 93, JM Vince 36, SM Ervine 24; JL Clare 2 for 57, DJ Wainwright 2 for 61, AP Palladino 2 for 71)
Derbyshire (overs) (DJ Redfern 133, WJ Durston 121, RA Whiteley 23, DJ Wainwright 23, AP Palladino 22*, TD Groenewald 20*, JL Clare 20; K Ali 3 for 60, JA Tomlinson 3 for 101, DJ Balcombe 2 for 69)
Match Drawn: Hampshire 10 points, Derbyshire 10 points
By John Brown
This match was played throughout in wintery temperatures which were quite unsuitable for cricketers, umpires and spectators alike. Derbyshire won the toss and, to the surprise of many, chose to bat first. Despite the loss of the openers during the first thirteen overs, Wayne Madsen’s decision proved right as first he and Wes Durston, showing a welcome return to his 2011 form, added 100 for the third wicket, and then Dan Redfern helped put on another 115 for the fourth.
Madsen played the anchor role and, despite having to wait for twenty balls with his score on 99, he completed a thoroughly well-deserved and emotionally charged century from 183 balls. He was out shortly afterwards and Derbyshire finished the day on a very satisfactory 362 for 9. Durston (88 balls) and Redfern(58 balls) both passed fifties which were full of well-timed and aggressive strokes, while Ross Whiteley made a useful forty.
On the second morning Jon Clare and Tim Groenewald hit boldly in adding 26 from only thirteen balls to take the final total to 388 all out. Clare’s 48 came at just a run a ball.
Gloucestershire lost a wicket to Tony Palladino in the first over, but thereafter they looked fairly comfortable in taking the score to 94 for two at lunch. Three wickets fell quickly soon after the break, and Derbyshire’s bowlers kept a firm grip on things with some well-controlled bowling. All the wickets fell to seamers while David Wainwright kept things quiet from the pavilion end with his left-arm spin. Palladino took five wickets for 47 before bad light finished play early with twenty-six overs still to be bowledand Gloucestershire on 172 for nine, still 216 behind.
Next day Gloucestershire’s last pair survived for another 48 minutes, perhaps an indication that the pitch was becoming more batsman-friendly. They were eventually all out for 206 and Derbyshire enforced the follow-on. Groenewald took a wicket in his first over, but the Gloucestershire batsmen, concentrating mainly on defence, made life difficult for Derbyshire. Only one more wicket fell all day and Howell, Williamson and Marshall had all looked comfortable for most of the day.
The fourth day started on time with a draw looking the most likely outcome, unless Derbyshire could take wickets with the new ball which was due after eleven overs. As it happened the pitch seemed to have flattened out, and only one wicket fell in the morning session, Williamson (272 balls) edging a ball from Clare to the keeper, Tom Poynton.
Marshall, the visitors’ stand-in captain, was lbw to Groenewald for a well-made 90 (200 balls) as the game meandered towards what seemed to be the inevitable draw. His dismissal was followed by a ten-minute stoppage for rain and hail, but then Cockbain and Will Gidman continued the resistance. By tea, taken with the score at 369 for four, everyone was going through the motions, just waiting for the moment when Gloucestershire could declare and the teams shake hands.
As a result of this draw Derbyshire have returned to first place in the table.
Derbyshire’s next championship match is at Southampton where they meet Hampshire in a four-day match starting on Wednesday, the first time the two counties have met for several seasons. The next home championship match will be against Glamorgan on Wednesday week.
County caps were awarded to four Derbyshire players before the start of play on the third morning – Martin Guptill, Wes Durston, Jon Clare and TonlyPalladino.
Derbyshire 388 (98.1 overs) (WL Madsen 101, WJ Durston 68, DJ Redfern 55, JL Clare 48, RA Whiteley 40, MJ Guptill 30; JK Fuller 3 for 64, ID Saxelby 3 for 79)
Gloucestershire 206 (69.3 overs) (CDJ Dent 55, KS Williamson 25, PB Muchall 21, WRS Gidman 21; AP Palladino 5 for 47, JL Clare 3 for 48) and 409 for 4 (145 overs) (KS Williamson 128, HJH Marshall 90, BAC Howell 64, IA Cockbain 63*, WRS Gidman 33*; JL Clare 2 for 39, TD Groenewald 2 for 44)
Match Drawn (Derbyshire 10 points) Gloucestershire (7)
By John Brown
Following several days of heavy rain it was decided before play was due to start on the second day of this match that there could be no play and the match was abandoned without a ball being bowled. The outfield was very wet and much work needed to be done before any play would have been possible.
This would have been the first time that Derbyshire had played Cardiff, so it was disappointing that the match could not even be started and that several young Derbyshire players together with a few who were hoping to find form were denied their opportunity.
Derbyshire’s next match is at Derby against Gloucestershire in the championship, starting at 11am on Wednesday 2nd May.
By John Brown
The weather forecasters warned us that all four days were likely to be blighted by frequent rain showers, but, in the event, much more cricket was played than might have been expected. As it happened the start on the first day was delayed until 3.30pm: Derbyshire won the toss and asked the visitors to bat first. Rain came again after 10.5 overs had been bowled (Leicestershire 24 for one) and there was no more play that day.
Tony Palladino took his second wicket on the second morning, but Smith and Sarwan, Leicestershire’s stand-in overseas captain, stayed together in adding 82 for the third wicket. Cobb joined Sarwan and they added a further 139: both batsmen reached 105 before they were dismissed so the visitors were in a strong position. Two wickets fell just before the close, taken at 318 for seven.
Next morning Palladino and Mark Footitt finished off the innings in four overs, so the last five wickets had fallen while only seven runs were added, and these two bowlers had taken three wickets each. Derbyshire started badly as they lost two wickets in the first three overs, and all their batsmen were made to work hard. When the seventh wicket fell at 115, it seemed likely that Derbyshire would have to follow on, but David Wainwright, Jon Clare and Tom Poynton all battled hard in making double figures.
Derbyshire won the toss and chose to bat on a pitch which looked true enough: once play had started, however, it was clear that all was not as easy as had been expected.
Graham Wagg, who had left Derbyshire two seasons earlier, bowled with great control and swung the ball late in both directions: in his opening spell of nine overs he dismissed the top four batsmen at a cost of 22. Derbyshire slipped to 44 for five and it took a sensible stand of 48 between Ross Whiteley and newcomer David Wainwright (fromYorkshire) to bring any sort of respectability to the all out total of 130.
Jon Clare added a useful 21, but the highlight thus far had been Wagg’s bowling with six for 44, the first time he had taken more than three wickets in an innings for his adopted county.
A young Derbyshire team (average age 25) started their championship campaign in bitterly cold conditions on the earliest date in their history. Northamptonshire won the toss and invited Derbyshire to bat on a pitch which they expected to help their seam bowlers. At first the visitors seemed to have taken the advantage as Derbyshire lost their first three wickets for 21, and their fourth at 50.
Despite what seemed to be awkward conditions, however, Dan Redfern looked to be in the form of his life, and he played confident strokes all round the wicket. At lunch Redfern had made 52 made from only 55 balls out of 96 for four. After the break he, in partnership with Ross Whiteley, continued to make good progress and this pair were not parted until they had equalled the fifth wicket record for the county in all matches against Northamptonshire – 160.
Redfern was bowled for 110, his maiden first-class century, made from 143 balls with thirteen fours. From this point, 210 for five, the rest of the batsmen managed only another 76 between them, but the final total of 286 was far more than had looked likely earlier in the day. Whiteley went for a well-crafted 83 made from137 balls (11 fours and 2 sixes).
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