By John Brown
Derbyshire came to this match, their last of the season, knowing that anything less than a win was unlikely to give them the longed-for promotion which they had been playing for.
In front of the Sky cameras who were covering the whole match, Wayne Madsen won the toss and chose to field first whereupon Tony Palladino responded by taking three wickets in his opening spell of eight overs. Hampshire were 26 for three and this became 59 for four when Ross Whiteley dismissed the in-form Adams.
Now Vince and Ervine came together and restored the Hampshire position with a partnership of 136 for the fourth wicket: Vince passed fifty for the first time in the championship this season and he went on to complete a very good hundred from 128 balls.
Once this pair was parted Derbyshire’s bowlers completed their job by bowling Hampshire out for 272, with David Wainwright taking the last two wickets in two balls.
Derbyshire had eighteen overs to bat before the close, but they lost three wickets to finish the day on 50 for three. Palladino had come in as night-watchman and he spent the first eighty minutes on the second morning playing some sparkling shots to score 58 (8 fours 2 sixes) from 78 balls.
Usman Khawaja had played the sensible supporting role at the other end and he was still there at lunch, taken at 167 for five.
The umpires and players came out after the interval, but rain drove them back before a ball could be bowled and that was the end of play for the day.
In the meantime Derbyshire’s chief rivals were making progress in their matches, although Glamorgan seemed to be doing them a favour as they compiled 390 against Kent.
On the third morning Khawaja fell without adding to his overnight score of 71, and Wainwright soon followed. Derbyshire now knew that they needed at least two batting bonus points if they were to have any chance of achieving their ultimate aim, so they were indebted to the youthful pairing of Whiteley and Tom Poynton who added an invaluable 63 together for the eighth wicket.
Now they had those two all-important extra points and they were able to continue to claim a narrow three-run lead on first innings. Whiteley continued his good run with an excellent undefeated 57 (7 fours and a six) from 132 balls.
Hampshire started their second innings shortly after lunch and lost their openers within four balls of each other in the ninth and tenth overs bowled by Palladino and Tim Groenewald – 16 for two.
Shafayat dug in for the visitors and helped them to 68 for three from twenty-four overs at tea. Shafayat was supported by Vince and then Ervine, but Whiteley produced one of his most effective short spells of the season as he took two wickets for only six runs. This took Hampshire to 142 for six at the close, a position which raised Derbyshire hopes, even though Shafayat was still there on 52.
After the close at Derby the news from Cardiff came in that Glamorgan had managed to beat Kent by seven wickets: this ensured that Derbyshire would be promoted, but now their aim was to take top position in the division.
They were made to wait more than ten overs on the final morning before they could take a wicket, but then the last four men were out to spinners Wes Durston and Wainwright in the space of six overs for only nineteen runs.
Paul Borrington had made an outstanding catch at deep mid-off as he dived far to his right and held the ball with both hands. Shafayat had run himself out by thinking of taking a quick single to Whiteley at mid-wicket who whipped his return to wicket-keeper Poynton to leave the batsman stranded.
Derbyshire needed 196 to win in a minimum of 77 overs: they had fifty minutes batting before lunch and Madsen and Borrington soothed jangling nerves with a positive and assured opening partnership of 45 in thirteen overs.
Then, most unexpectedly, both batsmen were dismissed just before lunch, so spectators were left waiting anxiously to see what would happen after the interval.
They need not have worried: Khawaja and Durston came out playing shots, with Khawaja looking in his best form of the season. Together they added 67 at five runs an over before Durston was adjudged lbw – 112 for three.
Dan Redfern joined Khawaja who immediately unleashed a series of beautiful cover-drives. When Whiteley joined his Australian partner fifty-three runs were still needed, but Whiteley, who had celebrated his twenty-fourth birthday the previous day, was in no mood to keep the crowd waiting.
Only eight overs were needed to complete the victory: Khawaja was there at the end, and was named Man of the Match, probably just edging out his partner at the end for that honour.
Whiteley struck a remarkable five sixes, including the winning hit over square-leg. It was a wonderful moment, the culmination of much hard work and good cricket, thoroughly well-deserved by all the players, coaches and support staff.
Derbyshire finished with same number of points as Yorkshire, 194, but since they had won one more match than their northern neighbours, Derbyshire were the champions.
The celebrations were great - there were plenty of interviews and much spraying of champagne in front of a happy crowd of Derbyshire supporters. It is to be hoped that most of these, and many others, will be back next year to watch some long-awaited First Division cricket.
Hampshire 272 (75.4 overs) (JM Vince 114, SM Ervine 61, MD Bates 29, DJ Balcombe 20*, JHK Adams 20; AP Palladino 3 for 44, DJ Wainwright 3 for 69, RA Whiteley 2 for 37) and 198 (72.3 overs) (BM Shafayat 81, JM Vince 26, SM Ervine 20; RA Whiteley 2 for 6, WJ Durston 2 for 36, DJ Wainwright 2 for 41)
Derbyshire 275 (86 overs) (UT Khawaja 71, AP Palladino 58, RA Whiteley 57*, T Poynton 24; SM Ervine 3 for 25, JA Tomlinson 3 for 65, DJ Balcombe 2 for 68) and 197 for 4 (41.5 overs) (UT Khawaja 72*, RA Whiteley 38*, WL Madsen 24, WJ Durston 23, PM Borrington 21; DA Griffiths 2 for 33, LA Dawson 2 for 82)
Derbyshire (21 points) beat Hampshire (5) by 6 wickets
Derbyshire became Division 2 Champions for 2012
Kent v Derbyshire at Canterbury on 4 to 7 September: LV County Championship: Division 2
Derbyshire made the long journey down to Canterbury for what was likely to be a decisive match in the promotion battle to the First Division. At last there were four days of warm sunshine and Kent will have been pleased to have won the toss and had first use of what promised to be ideal batting conditions.
Runs proved difficult to come by, however, in the face of some accurate bowling by Tony Palladino, Tim Groenewald and Mark Turner.
At lunch the score had reached only 61 for three, with Key superbly caught one-handed by Poynton diving to his left behind the wicket and, when this became 93 for five and later 139 for six, Derbyshire had every reason to feel pleased with their efforts thus far.
Geraint Jones was dropped in the slips from a very difficult chance before he had scored, and Kent were to benefit from this escape. Jones was supported, first by Coles and then by Davies, as they added 57 and 36 in successive partnerships. Kent were all out for 261, a total which Derbyshire would probably have settled for before the start, but which was disappointing after the promising beginning.
Paul Borrington had broken his nose while fielding, so did not open the batting as intended. Derbyshire reached 32 for one in the eleven overs they had to bat before the close.
Next morning, after the fall of another wicket, Borrington joined skipper, Wayne Madsen, and together they added 52 in a twenty-two over partnership before Borrington was caught at short-leg off off-spinner Riley. Seam-bowler Davies had proved very difficult to get away and he was instrumental in bringing Derbyshire to a perilous position as they slipped from 89, when the third wicket fell, to 130 for eight. Madsen had made an excellent 64 before he chopped on a ball from Davies which kept low.
The situation called for some stern resistance and this was forthcoming from Tom Poynton and Groenewald who added an important 51 at more than four runs an over. Poynton had just earned Derbyshire a batting point with a hard-run second leg-bye when he was bowled for a mature 45.
Kent had a first innings lead of 61 and Northeast and Key put on 58 for the first wicket before Wes Durston bowled Key behind his legs, a success which was quickly followed by two more wickets before the close. Even so Kent were nicely placed with a lead of 120 and seven wickets in hand when the third day began.
There was some dispute at this stage when it was revealed that Tredwell, who had been on England duty the previous day, was to replace Kent’s Riley, even though it had been agreed that he should not do so unless he was released early from the ODI at Trent Bridge. It seemed that Kent had put in a special request for his return and the ECB had changed its original ruling.
Northeast and Nash took the game further away from Derbyshire as they survived the pre-lunch session together and they had added 127 before Nash was out trying to sweep Wainwright inadvisably. Now Powell joined Northeast and there followed another century partnership as they took the score to 319 for five. Northeast was eventually caught on the backward point boundary off Ross Whiteley’s bowling – his had been an excellent innings (165 from 309 balls), in which he had been the only player to make run-scoring seem comparatively easy.
Kent declared leaving the unlikely target of 404 to win from a minimum of 113 overs, and they received an immediate setback when Madsen was caught at slip in the first over. Borrington and Khawaja stayed until the end of the day, and they started in similar defiant mood on the last morning. Concentrating almost entirely on defence, this pair had added 57 from 37.4 overs before Borrington (17 from 111 balls) was lbw to a ball which some observers thought would have passed over the stumps.
Every batsman worked hard to keep out the Kent bowlers and none of them could have been accused of being guilty of a careless or extravagant stroke to bring about their downfall: only Whiteley, who was run out after calling for an unnecessarily sharp single, lost his wicket as a result of poor judgement. Usman Khawaja was top-scorer with 53 from 180 balls while Poynton once again showed how his confidence and self-belief have developed as he made an unbeaten 27 from 122 balls.
Derbyshire took Kent to the final hour, but the last wicket fell in the fifth over, with 43 minutes remaining. So Kent had won the match by 222 runs, setting the stage for a final round of matches in which Derbyshire, Yorkshire and Kent will be watching each other’s progress at Derby, Chelmsford and Cardiff as these three counties will be vying with each other for the two promotion spots which are available.
Derbyshire will be playing Hampshire at Derby in a match starting on Tuesday (10.30am start), and they will be hoping for plenty of enthusiastic support.
Kent 261 (82.3 overs) (GO Jones 80, SA Northeast 37, MJ Powell 37, M Davies 25, MT Coles 24; TD Groenewald 3 for 63, RA Whiteley 2 for 22, AP Palladino 2 for 53) and 342 for 8 dec (101.3 overs) (SA Northeast 165, BP Nash 62, MJ Powell 56*, RWT Key 31; DJ Wainwright 3 for 77, WJ Durston 2 for 83)
Derbyshire 200 (79.2 overs) (WL Madsen 64, T Poynton 45, PM Borrington 23, TD Groenewald 22; M Davies 5 for 27, MT Coles 2 for 29) and 181 (108.2 overs) (UT Khawaja 53, T Poynton 27*, DJ Redfern 21, DJ Wainwright 21; DI Stevens 4 for 27, MT Coles 3 for 29, M Davies 2 for 31)
Kent (21 points) beat Derbyshire (4) by 222 runs
By John Brown
Derbyshire v Essex at Derby on 28 to 31 August: LV County Championship: Division 2
Essex were the visitors for this important match in Derbyshire’s chase for a promotion spot. Wayne Madsen won the toss and asked the visitors to bat first. All seemed to be going to plan when Derbyshire’s bowlers, helped by some outstanding fielding, reduced Essex to 151 for seven, but at this point Napier and Masters came together and added an invaluable and frustrating 74 together for the eighth wicket.
Even so Derbyshire will have been pleased to have dismissed Essex for 245 on the first day, with David Wainwright being the pick of the bowlers with four wickets of his well-controlled left-arm spin. But, Derbyshire had fifteen overs to bat before the close, and they managed to lose three wickets to the consistent Masters and Napier.
The weather on the second day was very wet over much of the country and there was play only at Worcester in the evening. The umpires felt that there was a chance of play at Derby, so the decision to call play off for the day was not made until five o’clock.
Derbyshire started the third day on 28 for three and this soon became a most unpromising 120 for seven, of which Paul Borrington, on his return to the first team, had made a determined 42 (99 balls): the conditions were just right for the accurate seam of David Masters and he caused many problems in the early part of the innings.
Now it was Derbyshire’s turn to fight back with an eighth wicket partnership: Ross Whiteley and Tom Poynton fought really hard in a twenty-nine-over stand of 86. After Whiteley was eighth out at 206 Poynton was helped by Tim Groenewald and Mark Turner to add another sixty runs for the last two wickets, so Derbyshire had a somewhat surprising first-innings lead of twenty-one runs.
Whiteley had reached his fifty from 96 balls, while Poynton faced 106 balls in reaching that landmark. Masters finished with the excellent figures of five for 51 from thirty overs.
Essex still harboured hopes of a late charge for a promotion spot, and they set off quickly in an effort to set a target which would tempt Derbyshire. By the close they had reached 85 for one from nineteen overs, with Westley being especially belligerent.
On the fourth morning Derbyshire concentrated mainly on restricting the Essex efforts to score quickly and there were often as many as eight men on the boundary. When Shah was caught at deep extra-cover, the bowler, Tony Palladino, celebrated having taken his fiftieth wicket of the championship season – it was a fine reward for a sustained and whole-hearted performance for his team during a challenging season.
Four Essex batsmen passed fifty as they batted on for seven overs after lunch before declaring. This set Derbyshire a target of 274 from a minimum of fifty-eight overs: the news of Derbyshire’s closest rivals, Kent and Yorkshire, was not good, since both counties had managed to set up a last-day run-chase which seemed generously favourable for those two teams.
Derbyshire started briskly, with Madsen looking in particularly good touch, but three wickets in seven overs while only nine runs were added made them reconsider their position. Wes Durston and Dan Redfern took their time in building the innings, and many people thought that they had no greater ambition than to ensure that they did not lose. When this pair had added almost a hundred, however, the decision seemed to be made to raise the run-rate and make an effort to win the match. This decision almost proved to be Derbyshire’s undoing as four wickets fell in quick succession while only five runs were added.
Now there was no choice other than to play for a draw, and Whiteley and Palladino were left with a minimum of 11.2 overs to keep out the Essex bowlers with a cluster of fielders round the bat. They stayed calm and resisted everything bowled at them before an unexpected shower of rain brought play to an early close with six overs (or 21 minutes) remaining.
It was not possible to start again, so Derbyshire drew the match taking eight points from the match. Both Kent and Yorkshire had won their matches, so Derbyshire’s lead at the top of the table had been reduced, and there will be some nerve-racking moments as four counties do their utmost in their final two matches before the two who are to be promoted to the First Division will be known.
Derbyshire will be playing Kent at Canterbury next week and the final, probably most crucial, match of the season will be at Derby, starting on Tuesday 11th September (10.30am start).
Essex 245 (78.5 overs) (GR Napier 42, DD Masters 35, JS Foster 31, RN ten Doeschate 29, OA Shah 26, AJ Wheater 26; DJ Wainwright 4 for 64, ML Turner 2 for 38) and 294 for 5 dec (55 overs) (T Westley 82, JS Foster 56*, RN ten Doeschate 52, ML Pettini 50, OA Shah 26; ML Turner 2 for 60)
Derbyshire 266 (89.5 overs) (RA Whiteley 56, T Poynton 55*, PM Borrington 42, DJ Redfern 31; DD Masters 5 for 51, GR Napier 3 for 80, TR Craddock 2 for 24) and 173 for 7 (52 overs) (WJ Durston60, DJ Redfern 46, WL Madsen 31; TR Craddock 4 for 66, DD Masters 2 for 47)
Derbyshire (8 points) drew with Essex (7 points)
By John Brown
Derbyshire’s last limited overs match of the season was played on August Bank Holiday Monday with rain forecast for much of the afternoon and evening. It was something of a surprise, therefore, when the match was able to start only fifteen minutes late and the first innings was uninterrupted before the interval.
Derbyshire fielded a second-string attack with Wes Durston as captain, while the front-line bowlers and Wayne Madsen rested before the important championship match with Essex later in the week.
Durston won the toss and invited Northamptonshire to bat first. Alasdair Evans, making his first-team debut in a competitive match, bowled with some fire and dismissed the Northants two-time centurion from last week, Newton, when Usman Khawaja took a sharp catch in the gulley.
Coetzer and Sales looked to be putting Niorthnats in a strong position as they added 75 for the third wicket, but the spin of Chesney Hughes (one for 36) and Peter Burgoyne checked their progress and wickets began to fall. Burgoyne, bowling in the latter stages of the innings, had the excellent figures of three for 31 in seven overs and his low return catch from a hard-hit drive by O’Brien was exceptional.
De Lange hit well towards the end, but Derbyshire will have been satisfied to have limited the visitors to 232 from their forty overs.
During the interval the rain did arrive and it soon became clear that there would be no further play. So the match was abandoned at 5.50pm with each team taking one point: this left Derbyshire in fourth place in the seven-strong group C.
Northamptonshire 232 for 8 (40 overs) (KJ Coetzer 68, DJG Sales 58, RI Newton 31, CD de Lange 27*; PI Burgoyne 3 for 31, AC Evans 2 for 34)
Derbyshire did not bat
Match Abandoned – Derbyshire (1 point) Northamptonshire (1)
Both teams went into this match knowing that the result was likely to have a crucial bearing on the eventual outcome of the promotion race from this division.
Derbyshire won the toss and chose to field first on a pitch which looked likely to favour batting. The Yorkshire batsmen made good use of the favourable conditions as they went to 123 for two before lunch on the first day.The clouds were building up, so that there was only time for one ball after the interval, edged for four by Lyth, before rain prevented any further play that day.
Lyth was out for 93 next morning when he drove a wide half-volley from Ross Whiteley into cover’s hands. Once again Gary Ballance showed Derbyshire what a fine talent they had missed when he was allowed to leave for his adopted county: he played freely before he edged Tim Groenewald to the wicket-keeper for 79.
McGrath, who was only playing because two of Yorkshire’s young batsmen were on international duty, started slowly, but accelerated in an effort to gain a fifth batting point for his team.
Together with Hodd, on loan from Sussex as the stand-in wicket-keeper, they reached their target in the last available over, whereas Derbyshire had taken only five wickets, thus gaining only a single bowling bonus point. McGrath reached his hundred from183 balls.
Wes Durston came on to bowl his off-spin at this point and, as Yorkshire aimed to score quick runs before declaring, he took four wickets in nine balls to record his first-ever first-class five-wicket haul.
After Yorkshire were bowled out for 420, Derbyshire were left with eleven overs batting before the close on the second day.
Wayne Madsen and Matt Lineker seemed to have done their job well in keeping out the England fast-bowling pairing of Bresnan and Sidebottom, but they were frustrated when Madsen was lbw from the seventh ball of the final over of the day – Bresnan had bowled a No ball and thus earned himself that extra fateful ball.
Things did not go well on the third morning as three more wickets fell to reduce Derbyshire to 42 for four before Ross Whiteley joined Durston in a thirty-over partnership of 112 for the fifth wicket. Durston was bowled for a fine 84 by a ball which turned from the rough and Whiteley followed soon afterwards for a disciplined 35 (120 balls).
At 174 for six Derbyshire needed to work hard if they were to avoid the possibility of following on, and David Wainwright, playing against his old county battled hard while Tom Poynton showed some of the flair which he has shown in the second XI as they added a further 51 together. Poynton was adjudged lbw and another wicket fell in the following over, so Derbyshire found themselves in the precarious position of 233 for eight overnight, still 38 short of the follow-on target.
On the last morning Derbyshire, in particular Groenewald, batted with aggression so that the job seemed to have been done, but Wainwright was undone by a fine throw as he went for a second run from the stroke which had brought him his excellent fifty from 104 balls. Mark Turner hit two well-timed powerful fours off Sidebottom, bowling the first over with the new ball, but Groenewald fell in the next over from Bresnan.
Judging from the Yorkshire team’s reaction, it seemed as though they believed that being able to enforce the follow-on had ensured them victory.
Certainly Derbyshire did not start well as they lost their openers in the first six overs. This brought together Usman Khawaja and Durston and they were made to work hard against a strong attack, but they resisted everything that was bowled at them for thirty overs before Durston was lbw to Patterson.
Dan Redfern followed soon afterwards and the situation again was tense. Once again Whiteley played an uncharacteristically defensive role as he stayed with Khawaja for another twenty-nine overs: although he made only seventeen runs, the time he spent at the wicket (90 balls) was invaluable.
Khawaja will have been disappointed not to have made more runs in his previous few first-class innings this season, but he more than made up for any shortcomings with this fine, calm resistance: his hundred (189 balls), reached with a towering six over long-on, was his second for Derbyshire and the tenth of his career.
Whiteley hit an awkward catch to short extra-cover and, after only two overs of the last hour had been bowled, Yorkshire decided that Derbyshire had done enough to earn a draw, and the teams shook hands.
It is great credit to Derbyshire that they have once again recovered from a position where they opponents might well have expected to win: it shows that this is a team with some character, well-deserving of plenty of support during the last few weeks of the season.
They have a game in hand over all other teams in the Second Division, although their lead has been reduced to eleven points over second-placed Hampshire who beat Northamptonshire, Derbyshire’s next opponents in a match starting on Tuesday next.
Yorkshire 420 (113.4 overs) (A McGrath 104, A Lyth 93, GS Balance 79, AJ Hodd 58, AW Gale 47; WJ Durston 5 for 34, RA Whiteley 2 for 40, TD Groenewald 2 for 93)
Derbyshire 268 (90.3 overs) (WJ Durston 84, DJ Wainwright 60, RA Whiteley 35, T Poynton 25, TD Groenewald 21; R Sidebottom 3 for 38, A Rafiq 2 for 42, TT Bresnan 2 for 78) and 190 for 5 (72 overs) (UT Khawaja 110*, WJ Durston 39; TT Bresnan 2 for 55)
Derbyshire (6 points) drew with Yorkshire (11 points)
Derbyshire made the long pilgrimage to Canterbury for their return match with Kent in this competition.
Wayne Madsen won the toss and invited Kent to bat first. Things were looking good when opening bowlers, Tim Groenewald and Mark Turner, dismissed two of the hosts’ most prolific run-makers, Key and Northeast, for a duck apiece.
Stevens joined Sam Billings and together they added 85 for the third wicket: Alex Hughes bowled Stevens and two more wickets fell quickly to Peter Burgoyne who was playing his first first-team competitive match of the season. Mahmood was caught in remarkable fashion by Dan Redfern who, having misjudgd the flight of the ball, dived and clasped it with both hands just inside the mid-wicket boundary.
Kent’s score was 123 for five, and Derbyshire seemed well-placed, but Jones and Billings battled well until they found themselves in a position from which they could accelerate. Billings was in especially good touch, and he reached his first one-day century from 97 balls. During the four-over batting Powerplay, taken during the 36th to 39th overs, this pair added 51 runs, Billings hitting 38 of them from the fourteen balls he faced. He had played an outstanding innings, finishing with 143 from 113 balls.
So Derbyshire were faced with a much stiffer target than they might have expected, and they found the early overs difficult to get away.
Davies bowled his eight overs straight through and he finished with three for 25. The required run-rate went up with virtually every over, so the task soon became out of reach. Stevens also bowled very economically, and he had one golden spell when he took five wickets for only seven runs in nineteen balls.
Madsen had done his best to keep things moving, but his efforts were to prove in vain. Burgoyne played a few bold shots and shared a last wicket stand 28 with Turner, before Turner was last out to leave Kent victors by an all-too-comfortable 111 runs.
Derbyshire have one more match in this competition – against Northamptonshire at Derby on Bank Holiday Monday, 27th August.
Kent 248 for 6 (40 overs) (SW Billings 143, GO Jones 41*, DI Stevens 40; PI Burgoyne 2 for 32, ML Turner 2 for 74)
Derbyshire 137 (WL Madsen 31, CF Hughes 25, PI Burgoyne 24*; DI Stevens 5 for 36, M Davies 3 for 25)
Kent (2 points) beat Derbyshire by 111 runs
By John Brown
The South African tourists visited the County ground for a two-day match which was used primarily as practice for the visitors between Test matches. Both teams agreed to play fifteen-a-side, with only eleven able to bat or field. It was agreed that South Africa should bat first and they took full advantage of some excellent batting conditions on one of the hottest days of the year.
Although the South Africans lost Rudolph in Alasdair Evans’ second over, they lost only two more wickets before the declaration came twenty minutes after the tea interval. Ross Whiteley produced a rare nigh-unplayable ball to bowl the in-form Amla, thus achieving something which had defeated England’s bowlers in two Test matches.
De Villiers played freely against a second-string Derbyshire attack and he hit sixteen fours and two sixes in his 96-ball innings before he retired on 97. Duminy had had to work harder for his runs (69 from 129 balls) before he was dismissed by David Wainwright from the sharpest of return catches.
Du Plessis and AlbieMorkel added an unbroken 123 for the fifth wicket in little over an hour before the declaration after just seventy overs batting.
Derbyshire were left with twenty-two overs batting before the close and they saw the day out for the loss of only one wicket. Wayne Madsen and Usman Khawaja added an unflustered 57 for the second wicket before they both fell in quick succession.
Dan Redfern looked in good touch until he edged a catch to slip: after this all the batsmen, with the exception of Whiteley, struggled against the pace of Tsotsobe and the leg-spin of Tahir. Whiteley was making a welcome return to form following injury and he hit three sixes and six fours in his 63-ball innings.
Although Derbyshire were still 191 behind at the lunch interval, they declared, thus allowing South Africa another three hours of batting practice.
They sent in their lower-order batsmen for the most part, and these players found the pace of Mark Footitt rather more than they could handle.
Footitt took the first four wickets to fall when the score had reached only 38. Tim Groenewald and Jon Clare took a wicket each to reduce the tourists to 68 for six, after which Philander and Steyn played their shots to add a quick 74 in twelve overs.
By now the cricket had become fairly meaningless and it came as little surprise when South Africa declared at the earliest possible opportunity to leave the match in the most predictable of draws.
South Africa 365 for 4dec(70 overs) (AB de Villiers 97, JP Duminy 69, F du Plessis 68*, JA Morkel 49*, HM Amla 42) and 168 for 7 dec (40 overs) (VD Philander 68*, DW Steyn 34, T Tsolekile 26; MHA Footitt 4 for 38)
Derbyshire 174 for 9 dec (49 overs) (RA Whiteley 51*, UT Khawaja 37, WL Madsen 29, DJ Redfern 20; LL Tsotsobe 4 for 45, VD Philander 2 for 31, I Tahir 2 for 35)
By John Brown
On a rare warm sunny evening Derbyshire won the toss and asked Sussex, previously unbeaten in this competition in 2012, to bat first.
After eight Powerplay overs the visitors had reached 40 for one, with Wes Durston having trapped the dangerous Ed Joyce with his third ball.
Sussex seemed to be making good progress at 83 for two in the eighteenth over, but they then had a calamitous three overs during which they lost four wickets for twelve runs.
By John Brown
Derbyshire were pleased to welcome Kent in this crucial championship match which was likely to have an effect on the promotion prospects for both teams.
Wayne Madsen won the toss for Derbyshire and asked Kent to bat first. Sam Northeast was in fine form for the visitors and he reached his fifty from 64 balls (9 fours) when the total was only 62.
When Northeast was third out, bowled by a beauty from Jon Clare, Kent’s score was 69 for three, after which some sustained accurate bowling by the seamers reduced Kent to 174 for eight.
There had been a couple of stoppages for rain which reduced the number of overs in the day’s allocation by twenty-six. It was at this stage that Coles and Davies came together and they survived until the close which was taken at 238 for eight.
Coles hit a six from the second ball of the second day but fell to a well-judged catch on the mid-wicket boundary two balls later: he had faced 83 balls (5 fours and 3 sixes) in an important innings of 57. Together with Davies, this pair had added seventy runs for the ninth wicket and last man Shreck stayed while another frustrating 21 came for the last wicket.
265 will have been more than Derbyshire would have hoped for after choosing to field first, but it soon seemed a huge score when they slipped from 37 for one to a near-disastrous 51 for six.
The Kent bowlers were swinging the ball in helpful conditions and Derbyshire’s top-order batsmen found it difficult to cope. With only four wickets remaining they still needed sixty-five to avoid being asked to follow on, and when the eighth wicket fell at 93, the follow-on seemed the most likely outcome.
Tim Groenewald joined David Wainwright and together they battled for nine overs and added a crucial thirty-four runs, thus avoiding the possibility of being asked to follow on. Shreck had bowled a hostile sixteen overs in capturing his five wickets.
Kent batted again with a lead of 133 and most people present expected them to bat until mid-afternoon on the third day before declaring to leave Derbyshire with a game to save.
Tony Palladino took two early wickets and Mark Turner another to reduce Kent to 43 for three. The visiting skipper, Rob Key, had batted steadily while these wickets fell and, together with Powell, he saw his team to the close in the comfortable position of 93 for three, an apparently secure 226 runs ahead with seven wickets in hand.
Next morning Key stood firm, but Palladino and Groenewald were in inspired form as they dismissed four batsmen in the space of seven overs while only nine runs were added.
The last three wickets added 43 runs, but Palladino dismissed all three, including that of Key, ninth out for a masterful 81, to dismiss Kent for an improbable 161.
So Palladino had taken seven wickets in an innings for the first time in his career and thus given Derbyshire an outside chance of turning the tables on their rivals. His previous career-best figures had also been against Kent, nine years earlier when he was playing for Essex.
Madsen and Matt Lineker survived the three overs before lunch and they stayed together for another 75 minutes afterwards: between them they had set Derbyshire a fine base, 83 for the first wicket, from which to chase their target of 295 runs to win.
When bad light followed by heavy rain brought play to an early close, Derbyshire had reached the promising position of 168 for two – only 127 more runs to win and eight wickets left with which to do it.
Usman Khawaja and Wes Durston had so far added 73 for the third wicket and they took this to 102 (in thirty-nine overs) before Khawaja (137 balls) was caught at the wicket from a good ball by Shreck. Durston (123 balls) followed soon afterwards and, when two more wickets fell in the next four overs, Derbyshire’s score had slipped to 215 for six and Kent looked to be favourites again.
At this point Dan Redfern had scored an unflustered ten and he was supported first by Clare, then by Palladino as they helped to add twenty-one runs for each of the seventh and eighth wickets.
When Groenewald joined Redfern, however, Derbyshire still needed another thirty-eight runs to win and there were only two wickets left. This pair were the models of good cricketing sense as they took their singles and avoided the aggressive short-pitched bowling. Shreck had bowled throughout the scheduled pre-lunch session, fifteen overs in all, during which he had taken four wickets for 51 runs.
Under the new regulation for 2012, Kent were entitled to claim an extra four overs in an effort to finish the match before the interval, but Redfern and Groenewald saw these overs out while adding a further nerve-racking six runs.
Now Derbyshire needed only another nine runs to win, and they continued to defy the Kent pace attack as Groenewald in particular was targeted with a succession of bouncers. Groenewald aimed a few beefy square cuts at short balls outside the off-stump and, when he top-edged Coles over the slips for four, the scores were level.
Now Redfern, who had shown great composure throughout his innings, with all the fielders in to save the single, drove Davies back over his head for the winning four which also brought up his personal fifty in 67 balls.
It was a wonderful win, a win which showed the depth of character and team spirit in this Derbyshire side. It was a win which took Derbyshire twenty-six points clear at the top of the Second Division, but still with plenty to play for.
Derbyshire’s next four-day match is not until next week, an away match with Yorkshire at Headingley, another crucial game, but every match from here until the end of the season is likely to be crucial.
Kent 265 (75.5 overs) (MT Coles 57, SA Northeast 52, M Davies 29; TD Groenewald 3 for 41, ML Turner 3 for 66, AP Palladino 2 for 65) and 161 (56.5 overs) (RWT Key 81: AP Palladino 7 for 53, TD Groenewald 2 for 39)
Derbyshire 132 (47.3 overs) (DJ Wainwright 29*, TD Groenewald 23, MS Lineker 22; CE Shreck 5 for 41, M Davies 2 for 27, DI Stevens 2 for 29) and 298 for 8 (96.2 overs) (UT Khawaja 56, WJ Durston 55, DJ Redfern 50*, MS Lineker 45, WL Madsen 30, TD Groenewald 20*; CE Shreck 4 for 99, MT Coles 2 for 71)
Derbyshire (19 points) beat Kent (5) by 2 wickets
© 2015 Derbyshire County Cricket Club
The 3aaa County Ground, Grandstand Road, Derby DE21 6AF.
Tel: 01332 388 101
Website design by: www.thisismedia.co.uk