Statistical Preview: Lancashire

Derbyshire travel to Manchester for their first county championship fixture at Emirates Old Trafford since May 2005.

Heritage Officer and Statistician, David Griffin, looks at the statistical background to the game.

Lancashire have been Derbyshire’s opponents in more games of cricket than any other, and this game will be the 220th scheduled first-class match between the two sides.

Their association goes back to 26th May 1871, when Derbyshire played their first-ever first-class match – against Lancashire at Old Trafford – a game the visitors won by an innings and 11 runs, with Dove Gregory taking 6-9, a record never bettered by a Derbyshire debutant.

Such was the reluctance of other opponents to play Derbyshire in those early days that their first seven first class matches, played over four seasons, were all against Lancashire. However, since the championship split into two divisions at the start of the 2000 season, these old foes have only played each on seven occasions, twice in that 2000 season when both were in the first division, and twice again in the second division in 2005 and 2015, and, of course, once earlier this season at Derby.

As expected, Derbyshire’s playing record against one of the giants of English cricket is not good; their 32 wins are dwarfed by 99 defeats, with 86 drawn matches and two abandonments – both at Buxton, in 1972 and 1980.

Buxton staged the famous ‘Snow Match’ in 1975, which, when it began on the Saturday in fine weather, saw Lancashire amass 477-5 in 100 overs (it was the days of a restricted 100-over first innings) with Clive Lloyd scoring 167 not out and Frank Hayes 104. Derbyshire were 25-2 overnight and the John Player League game against Glamorgan on the following day was played under cloudless – if cool – skies.

The second day dawned with heavy cloud around but no suggestion of what was to come. As the start time came nearer, heavy rain, followed by hail, began to fall. In just a few minutes, the ground was covered in hail which soon gave way to heavy snow. It was  June 2 and the inaugural World Cup was about to start, and the summer would ultimately be recorded as the second hottest in the 20th century (1976 was the hottest).

The umpires, players and groundstaff were left with little option but to call the game off for the day, although by mid-afternoon, the sun had emerged, and the snow had melted away. The damage, however, had been done.

Uncovered pitches were the norm at the time and when play resumed on day three, Derbyshire’s 25-2 became 42 all out with Peter Lee taking 4-10. Derbyshire followed on, making 87 all out as Peter Lever took the honours with 5-16.

One of Derbyshire’s famous victories came at Old Trafford in 1996, that golden summer which saw Derbyshire finish in second place in the county championship.

Lancashire batted first and scored 587 for 9 declared with Jason Gallian making 312, the second-highest individual score ever made against Derbyshire. Dean Jones declared with Derbyshire more than one hundred runs in arrears, although not before Chris Adams and Karl Krikken had both scored centuries.

Lancashire then declared their second innings on 174-3 setting Derbyshire 289 runs to win, a target they achieved with two wickets in hand, Jones making a splendid century and Kim Barnett 92. Dominic Cork, in a frantic finish to the game, made an unbeaten 34 off just 16 balls to bring about a victory which had seemed highly unlikely after Lancashire’s first innings.

Derbyshire’s highest innings score is 577 all out at Old Trafford in 1896, the game in which George Davidson scored 274, still the highest individual score by a Derbyshire batsman, while Lancashire’s highest is the 587-9 at Old Trafford in 1996.

Derbyshire’s lowest all out total is 37 – twice – at Chesterfield in 1922 and Old Trafford in 1923; Lancashire’s is 25 in that opening game at Old Trafford in 1871.

Apart from Gallian, there have been five other Lancashire double centurions – Graham Lloyd, Eddie Paynter, Ashwell Prince and John Tyldesley, while for Derbyshire, in addition to Davidson’s 274, Peter Kirsten scored an unbeaten 204 at Blackpool in 1981.

Derbyshire batsmen have made 48 centuries against Lancashire, with Kim Barnett and Peter Bowler both recording 4, although the last one was the one made by Dean Jones in the 1996 win at Old Trafford. The last individual hundred for Derbyshire at home was John Morris’ 153 at Derby in 1993.

One of the most memorable Derbyshire hundreds came in the 1991 win at Derby when Mohammed Azharuddin scored one of his 7 first class hundreds of the summer. He arrived at the crease with Derbyshire on 60-3 and in some trouble, replying to the visitors’ 347-8 declared. When Derbyshire declared on 300-3, Azharuddin had scored 160 not out, out of a partnership with Bowler of 240. He made a further 67 in the 2nd innings as Derbyshire made 291-5 in just 65 overs to win by five wickets.

At Liverpool, in 1990, both opening batsmen, Kim Barnett (109) and Peter Bowler (115) recorded centuries, the only such instance for Derbyshire against Lancashire, and still only the 14th instance overall, while in addition to Krikken, Bill Storer is the only other Derbyshire wicketkeeper to score a first class century against Lancashire, scoring 108 at Derby in 1895 and 116 at old Trafford in 1896.

Derbyshire batsmen have twice recorded partnerships in excess of 300 runs; Peter Kirsten and John Wright added 321 for the second wicket at Old Trafford in 1980, and George Davidson and Bill Storer added 308 for the 4th wicket at the same venue in 1896.

Two players have carried their bat through a completed innings for Derbyshire; Edmund Maynard, who scored 28 not out, out of 55 all out at Derby in 1882, and Arnold Townsend, who scored 102 not out, out of 228 all out at Old Trafford in 1948.

Derbyshire bowlers have taken 5 wickets on debut on just 14 occasions, with Lancashire being the opponents six times. In addition to Dove Gregory’s 6-9 in 1871, Bill Mycroft took 6-35 at Derby in 1873, Alfred Cochrane, 6-51 at Derby in 1884, Frank Shacklock, 5-42 at Old Trafford in 1884, and Peter Hacker, 5-51 at Old Trafford in 1982. Special mention, however, must be made of John O’Connor, who took 5-56 and 5-69 on his debut at Old Trafford in 1900, the only Derbyshire bowler to take ten wickets in a game on his debut.

There have been 21 instances of Derbyshire bowlers taking 10 wickets in a match against Lancashire, with George Davidson and Bill Mycroft each doing it three times, while the best match figures belong to Cliff Gladwin who recorded 14-159 at Buxton in 1947 in a game Derbyshire lost by 3 runs. In Lancashire’s second innings, they declared on 350-9, with Gladwin having taken all nine wickets.

The most recent instance of a bowler taking ten wickets in a match is Paul Aldred who took 13-184 at Derby in 1999.

That champion fast bowler, Bill Bestwick, recorded a remarkable 18 5-wicket innings analyses against Lancashire. To put that into context, only 24 Derbyshire bowlers have ever taken five wickets in an innings on more occasions in their entire careers.

Two bowlers, Davidson at Derby in 1895 and Bill Copson at The Town Ground, Burton-on-Trent in 1937 have taken hat tricks against Lancashire.

More recently, Luis Reece took 6-58 in Lancashire’s first innings at Derby in June 2019.

Derbyshire’s last first-class win at Old Trafford came in July 1996.

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