Michael Clarke hit 74 in his final One Day International as Australia overcame New Zealand to win the ICC Cricket World Cup for the fifth time.
It ended New Zealand’s hopes of lifting the trophy for the first time in their history, as they, led by the tournament's leading run scorer Martin Guptill, had to settle for runners up in what was a memorable competition for the Black Caps.
Over 90,000 spectators packed the Melbourne Cricket Ground to witness Australia claim a seven wicket win, which was set up by an impressive bowling performance from the Aussie seamers.
Mitchell Johnson (3-30), Mitchell Starc (2-20) and James Faulkner (3-36) shared eight wickets to dismiss New Zealand for 183, despite 83 from Grant Elliott.
All-rounder Alex Hughes says the squad can push for promotion this summer following a successful winter and strong end to the 2014 season.
The players recently returned from their tour of Abu Dhabi – where they won three out of four games – and they are aiming to carry that form into the first game of the new season.
Hughes says competition for places is stronger than ever and hopes a good end to pre-season can secure his spot in the side to face Lancashire at The 3aaa County Ground, starting on Sunday 19 April.
Hughes said: “Everyone is looking to impress and make sure they stake a claim for the first game against Lancashire.
“There's a lot of spaces up for grabs so everyone is working really hard at the moment; it’s an exciting time.
Openers Ben Slater and Billy Godleman shared an unbeaten 161-run stand as Derbyshire dominated the second day of a rain-affected two-day friendly against Leicestershire at Grace Road.
After the first day was washed out, both sides agreed to bat 45 overs on the second day with Leicestershire batting first.
The Derbyshire seamers impressed during the first session to reduce the hosts to 65-5 at one stage, before Leicestershire recovered to end their innings on 163-6; Neil Pinner top scored with an unbeaten 56 and Ben Raine added 40.
The wickets were shared around with Mark Footitt (1-25), Tony Palladino (1-14), Wayne White (1-7), Tom Taylor (1-14) and Shiv Thakor (1-8) claiming one apiece, all off five overs.
In reply, Slater and Godleman settled to their task impressively and guided the team through the entire allocation of overs unbeaten with the score on 161-0.
A record-breaking 2,276 cricket clubs nationwide have registered to take part in the annual three-day NatWest Cricket Force, which will see their facilities rejuvenated and prepared ahead of the new season.
Entering its 14th year, tens of thousands of players, members and volunteers will come together to help give back to clubs across England & Wales during the weekend.
Club projects range from simple paint jobs and sightscreen cleaning, to brand new changing rooms, function rooms, and new pavilions.
And Derbyshire clubs are getting behind the initiative in huge numbers with 87 registered to take part.
Derbyshire Cricket Board (DCB) Senior Cricket Development Manager Mick Glenn said: “It’s fantastic that so many clubs value the initiative as a way to kick start the season.
Derbyshire’s overseas star Martin Guptill will walk out in the ICC World Cup Final this Sunday; 3.30am GMT start.
Co-hosts New Zealand and Australia go to head-to-head in the Final held in Syndey after convincing performances from both sides throughout the six-week long tournament.
New Zealand have won every single game they have played so far, perhaps crucially including a one-wicket win over Australia in the Group Stages.
The Quarter-Final stage, however, was the most memorable for New Zealand and their talismanic opener Guptill. The opening batsman hit the highest World Cup score ever of 237 not out from 163 balls.
The Derby Enterprise Growth Fund (DEGF) has approved a £412,500 grant which will see Derbyshire County Cricket Club directly employ at least 30 more people as their business and venue grows.
The £20million Derby Enterprise Growth Fund is run by Derby City Council and supported by the Regional Growth Fund. It aims to provide a catalyst for growth and job creation in businesses in the city and surrounding area through a mix of loans and grants.
The DEGF financial support, approved by an independent investment panel, comes hot-on-the-heels of a £2.4million support plan by Derby City Council to fund a major redevelopment of The 3aaa County Ground.
The grant was awarded to support the growth of the Cricket Club as a year-round venue for sport, culture and Conference & Events, which is expected to develop significantly on the back of this programme of facilities investment.
Starting with the current £1million investment for a state-of the-art Elite Cricket Performance Centre, a new Conference & Events venue in time for April 2015 and upgraded Members’ facilities, a total of £4.4million in facilities at The 3aaa County Ground is proposed between 2015 and the summer of 2017.
Derbyshire’s Martin Guptill and his New Zealand teammates will face Australia in the World Cup Final after the latter defeated India by 95 runs in the second semi-final.
In front of a packed house at the Sydney Cricket Ground, Australia posted an imposing 328-7 from their 50 overs with Steve Smith top scoring with 105 off 93 balls.
Aaron Finch also provided a vital contribution, scoring 81 from 116 balls, allowing Smith, Glenn Maxwell (23 off 16) and Shane Watson (28) to play around him.
In reply, India lost wickets at regular intervals and only MS Dhoni (65), Shikhar Darwan (45) and Ajinkya Rahane (44) managed to hold their wicket long enough to trouble the Australian attack.
Derbyshire County Cricket Club Members took a first look at the newly refurbished Pavilion last night at the Club’s 2015 Annual General Meeting.
106 Members attended taking in the new and exclusive Members and Executive Members facilities for the new season.
Geoff Miller OBE, who will serve as Club President for a further year, was on hand to pull the first pint of Greene King IPA at the new bar situated in the Members Lounge.
Chief Executive Simon Storey shared plans with Members for the second phase of the Club’s ground development plan which will see the construction of a new dedicated Media Centre with Corporate Boxes suitable for matchdays and meetings 365-days-a-year.
With the new season now less than a month away, Graeme Welch says there is a great mood around the place as the lads gear up for the 2015 campaign.
Welch’s men begin their LV= County Championship season on April 19when Lancashire will be welcomed to The 3aaa County Ground.
“Opposing teams don’t generally like coming to Derby,” Welch said.
“It nibbles about when it’s overcast, and last year we hit on a bit of a formula which seemed to work for us. We ended up winning five of our last six championship games, and hopefully we can catch these big teams on the hop.
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