Derbyshire return to Highfield, Leek, this weekend – and Wes Durston is predicting an action-packed Yorkshire Bank 40 fixture against an in-form Essex Eagles side on Sunday; 1.45pm start.
Karl Krikken’s men return to their Staffordshire Moorlands out-ground for the first time in two years, when the Falcons claimed a six-wicket victory over Warwickshire back in 2011.
Durston is relishing the side’s return to Leek and is expecting an entertaining match against a hard-hitting Essex side - and the all-rounder believes a good result will hold them in good stead as Derbyshire push for a semi-final berth.
“I have played at Leek before and it is a lovely setting,” Durston said. “We played there two seasons ago when we beat Warwickshire in a t20. The crowd was excellent then and it was a nice hot day - and hopefully it will be the same this coming Sunday.
Wes Durston and Ben Slater both completed centuries as part of a 198-run stand as Derbyshire – who claimed three late wickets – ended the opening day on top against Durham MCCU at the County Ground.
Durston hit 15 fours and a six in his 117, outscoring 21-year-old Slater by a single run who also retired during the afternoon session on 116 – as the hosts declared on 436-7, thanks to a late 73 from Alex Hughes.
Alasdair Evans, Jonathan Clare and Peter Burgoyne picked up a wicket apiece after the restart, as the visitors closed on 40-3 after 11 overs, trailing by 396 runs.
After losing the toss and being asked to bat first, Billy Godleman and Paul Borrington made a solid start putting on 71 runs for the opening wicket.
Borrington, however, was first to fall for 22, before partner Godleman followed soon after for a brisk 49 from just 44 balls – both to the impressive Matt Milnes who finished with figures of 2-92 from 25 overs. But these would be the only breakthroughs of the morning, as Slater and Durston produced an outstanding partnership to end the session.
Ben Slater insists this week’s MCC University fixture against Durham will be a tough test, but is hoping a good result will hold Derbyshire in good stead ahead of this Sunday's fixture with Essex at Leek Cricket Club.
The 21-year-old competed in his maiden first-class match for the Club last week versus Surrey – the same opponents he made his first-class debut against for Bradford/Leeds MCCU in 2012.
Slater believes fixtures against university sides give youngsters the perfect opportunity to test their ability against professional outfits and the left-handed batsman is expecting a difficult game against Durham MCCU, which begins on Wednesday 5th June; 11am start.
“I don’t think it will be an easy game this week,” Slater said. “I know the MCCU sides from obviously playing at that level before. When I was up a Leeds we won a few games and pushed all the counties we played – it was a good experience.
Martin Guptill has ended speculation linking him with Derbyshire for the 2013 Friends Life t20 competition – but he has confirmed ambitions to play for the Club again.
The in-form Kiwi ace will jet off to the Caribbean Premier League following the ICC Champions Trophy in England – and a short break back in New Zealand - as the hectic cricketing calendar rules him out of a third stint with Derbyshire in 2013.
The 26-year-old has hit the national headlines in recent days following back-to-back centuries in the One Day International series versus England; the second of which was a record breaking 189 in the Kiwis' 86-run victory at the Rose Bowl.
Such international heroics came as no surprise to Derbyshire supporters who saw the Kiwi international average upwards of 40 in 16 first-class appearances during the 2012 and 2013 seasons, as well as starring with a succession of powerful performances in the limited-overs arenas.
A parent and child can attend six matches of their choice for just £65 – as the Club’s new Six Pack Ticket offers tremendous value for families this season.
The Six Pack Ticket - new for 2013 - allows supporters to choose any six matches, from either the Friends Life t20, Yorkshire Bank 40 or for a day’s play in the LV= County Championship, to attend throughout the year for just £55.
While children under the age of 16 can purchase a Junior Membership for only £10, which grants them access to any home fixture for the 2013 season.
When purchased together, it offers fantastic value for families for the current campaign, as Wayne Madsen’s side - augmented by world number two Test batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul - continue their first season back in the top flight of county cricket for more than a decade.
The Cricket Derbyshire Book Shop has already raced past its £1,000 sales target for the whole season; thanks to the hard work of volunteers - and the generosity of members and supporters.
Sales have soared since the shop underwent a refurbishment prior to the start of the campaign, with all proceeds supporting the development of young Derbyshire cricketers.
Shop co-ordinator Phil Kirby is thanking members and supporters for their wonderful support, both in the purchase of books and in donating items for sale.
The ambition is now that the shop can go on to help pay for an additional summer contracted player to be developed by the club.
Ricky Ponting compiled an exceptional 192 on debut – before a quick-fire half century from Chesney Hughes ensured the four-day fixture with Surrey ended in a draw at the County Ground.
Ponting continued his imperious batting display on the final morning, falling just eight runs short of a double century – hitting 20 fours – as Surrey declared on 553-8 just after lunch, a lead of 101 runs as the visitors sniffed a possible final day victory.
But Hughes, who hit two sixes on his way to an excellent 68, and Billy Godleman remained firm posting 72 for the opening wicket and - despite the fall of two quick wickets after tea - the two Captains shook hands with Derbyshire 63 runs ahead as the entertaining LV= County Championship fixture ended in a draw.
The Derbyshire bowlers started Day 4 well, bowling a tight line to both batsmen, with Mark Footitt twice turning Ponting around with deliveries that bounced sharply on the Australian legend.
Ricky Ponting wowed the County Ground faithful with a century as Derbyshire toiled on Day 3 against Surrey.
But even the Australian legend was upstaged in the LV= County Championship fixture by opening batsman Aaron Harinath who struck a career-best 154 in Surrey’s 362-4.
The visitors trail by 90 runs heading into the final day which commences at 11am tomorrow. They have seven first innings wickets still in hand, including that of Ponting who reached an overnight score of 120 not out.
Surrey began Day 2 on 35-1 following Wayne Madsen’s remarkable dismissal of Rory Burns on the previous evening.
Captain Wayne Madsen produced an excellent batting display – finishing with a season-high 152 – before chipping in with an early run out to leave the LV= County Championship fixture with Surrey nicely poised.
Madsen completed his highest score of the campaign, before a late rear-guard 72 from Richard Johnson – equaling his career best first-class score – guided Derbyshire to a total of 452 in their first innings.
And skipper Madsen was involved again shortly after the restart running out the in-form Rory Burns in the opening over, as Surrey closed Day 2 at the County Ground on 35-1, trailing by 417 runs.
Derbyshire began the second day on 232-2, after a lengthy rain delay meant only 55 overs were possible on Day 1, with Shivnarine Chanderpaul unbeaten on 112 and Madsen 92 not out – and the pair quickly continued where they had left off the night before.
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