Derbyshire claimed seven wickets in the final session to secure a dramatic 138-run victory against Worcestershire in the LV= County Championship fixture at The 3aaa County Ground.
Wes Durston claimed career-best figures to blow away the visitors' middle-order after tea as Daryl Mitchell’s side slumped from 59-3 to 129 all out to hand Graeme Welch’s men an enthralling final-day win.
The victory was Derbyshire’s third successive LV= County Championship victory, the first time the feat has been achieved since 2002.
Derbyshire began the day in search for quick runs as they set about setting Worcestershire a total to chase. Wayne Madsen was the mainstay of the innings, falling just two runs short of his second century of the campaign, as he was the ninth man out for 98 off 135 balls (11 fours, 1 six).
Derbyshire have signed all-rounder Shiv Thakor from Leicestershire on a two-year deal.
The 20-year-old turned down a number of alternative offers to commit his future to Derbyshire until the end of the 2016 season.
Thakor is a former England Under-19 Captain and made his first-class debut at the age of 17 in 2011. He has featured in 24 first-class matches in total, scoring 1,288 runs at average of 39, including two hundreds and nine half-centuries, and claiming 16 wickets.
The talented all-rounder has also competed in 24 List A fixtures, hitting a top score of 83 not out and picking up 17 wickets.
Thakor said: “I would like to thank the staff, board and most importantly the supporters at Leicestershire.
“It's been a tough decision to leave the county that has given me my start in professional cricket, but I feel it's time to take the next step forward.
India batsman Cheteshwar Pujara will arrive in UK in time for next week’s fixture versus Glamorgan after the Club received confirmation that his visa has been granted.
Chief Executive Simon Storey said: “We knew the deadlines were tight but – because it’s such a key signing for the Club - we have worked hard to make it happen.
“As well as giving the team a boost going into the final games of the season, Pujara’s signing is also an important part of our strategy to build on the work of our India Club and engage with a new generation of Derbyshire cricket fans here in the City.
“It’s been a pretty tense period as we waited for visa approval and we’re really grateful to Chris Williamson MP who has been helping us track progress on the visa and giving us confidence that we were on course for a timely completion.
Opening batsmen Ben Slater and Billy Godleman both recorded half-centuries as Derbyshire began to build a good lead over Worcestershire going into the final day at The 3aaa County Ground.
It was a frustrating morning for the hosts, however, as Joe Leach (71) and Shaaiq Choudhry (44) added 117 runs for the seventh wicket as Worcestershire claimed a 29-run first-innings lead.
The Pears were finally bowled out for 385, thanks largely to the bowling of Mark Footitt who claimed two wickets on the day to take his innings tally to 6-115. It was Footitt's fourth Championship five-wicket haul of the campaign and on his way to the feat the left-arm paceman claimed his 150th first-class scalp for Derbyshire.
Worcestershire had survived until the lunch interval, before Durston (2-31), who found turn and bounce, and Footitt shared the final two Worcestershire wickets - with the visitors securing a slender first-innings lead.
Slater and Godleman began the Derbyshire second innings and managed to reach tea unscathed and having already eradicated the first-innings deficit, with Derbyshire 38 without loss.
Mark Footitt produced an impressive display of fast bowling, taking 4-61, to help reduce Worcestershire to 221-6 at stumps on Day Two at The 3aaa County Ground, trailing Derbyshire by 135 runs.
Wayne Madsen's men secured a fourth batting bonus point during the morning session as, despite losing Alex Hughes for 74 early on, Tony Palladino (38*) and Footitt (11) hit some late blows to help post 356.
Footitt got the early wicket Derbyshire wanted when Richard Oliver handed him a caught and bowled for just a single.
A stand between Daryl Mitchell (67) and Tom Fell (70), however, frustrated the hosts who went wicketless during the afternoon session, with Worcestershire 126-1 at the Tea interval.
Sales of Derbyshire’s Snazzy Socks, that were first on sale at the Old Speckled Hen Chesterfield Festival of Cricket, in association with Chesterfield Borough Council; have now gone through 200, raising over £1,000 for the Cricket Derbyshire Foundation.
The Snazzy Socks were produced in partnership with Briggs of Burton Plc as a dedication to Keith Poynton. Keith was a Director of Briggs with a career spanning 42 years. He had started as an apprentice on the manufacturing shop floor and is remembered fondly by everyone at the company.
All proceeds from sale of Snazzy Socks goes directly the Cricket Derbyshire Foundation (Registered Charity No. 1155801) which is a registered charity that delivers cricket programmes in addition to wider, more diverse community projects that benefit health, education and social inclusion across Derbyshire.
Billy Godleman, Wayne Madsen and Alex Hughes all struck half-centuries as Derbyshire closed on 323-8 on the opening day versus Worcestershire at The 3aaa County Ground.
The hosts won the toss and elected to bat first and made a good start through Ben Slater (29) and Godleman who added 41 runs for the first wicket.
Godleman and Madsen then put on 112 for the second wicket before Tom Kohler-Cadmore caught Derbyshire’s Captain at slip for 56 (10 fours) off Charlie Morris.
The same combination of Morris and Kohler-Cadmore accounted for Godleman too, who went for 55 (6 fours) with Derbyshire 164-3.
After a successful Royal London One-Day Cup campaign, Derbyshire return to LV= County Championship action when they face table-topping Worcestershire at The 3aaa County Ground starting on Sunday 31 August; 11am start.
Graeme Welch's have won their last two Championship fixtures, against Gloucestershire and Glamorgan in July, and have since enjoyed a good run in the Royal London One-Day Cup competition which was ended at the quarter-final stage on Tuesday.
Derbyshire are now back in red-ball action with the visit of Daryl Mitchell's Worcestershire side.
After recently re-signing for the county on loan until the end of the season, Wayne White is in line to make his first appearance for Derbyshire since 2008, while batsman Chesney Hughes has also returned to a 13-man four-day squad.
The Pears have enjoyed a successful 2014 campaign to date, and sit 25 points clear at the top of Division Two.
Cricket Derbyshire will be honouring former Chairman and President Trevor Bowring who passed away on Saturday 23 August, with a minute's silence before play commences.
Derbyshire County Cricket Club's Members' Forum will take place in the Gateway Centre on Day One of the fixture, from 1.30pm, where Elite Performance Director Graeme Welch, Chairman Chris Grant, Chief Executive Simon Storey and Administration Director Jason Fage will be present to answer questions.
Ben Cotton has signed a two-year contract with Derbyshire, committing him to the Club until the end of the 2016 season.
The 20-year-old has progressed to the first team from the Cricket Derbyshire Academy - in partnership with the University of Derby - making six appearances to date and taking six wickets.
A tall right-arm fast-medium bowler hailing from Staffordshire, Cotton was named Academy Player of the Year in 2013 and has been a regular in the Second XI for the last three seasons.
Elite Performance Director, Graeme Welch said: “Our plan for bringing future success revolves around proven match-winners alongside home-grown talent.
“With that in mind, it’s great to have a number of Academy graduates breaking into the squad.
“The next step is to work with these guys and helping them push onto the next level and start getting in the frame for England honours.
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