Statistical Preview: Middlesex

Derbyshire play Middlesex at Lord’s in their final game of the season in a Specsavers County Championship fixture starting on 23rd September 2019.

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

This game against Middlesex is the 100th scheduled first-class fixture between the two sides, and of the first 99, Derbyshire won on 24 occasions, Middlesex 35 times, while 39 ended as drawn games. There was one game abandoned, at Lord’s in 1931.

This is Derbyshire’s 34th visit to Lord’s to play Middlesex in a first-class game, although they also played the MCC there on 27 occasions between 1876 and 1928, before they ever faced Middlesex in any fixture.

It’s been well-documented that the reason for this arose from Middesex’s refusal to play Derbyshire at all in the years prior to 1929, when many county fixtures were arranged by the counties themselves, and they chose not to participate in games with Derbyshire. The hierarchy at Middlesex believed that Derbyshire were a team of ruffians, and it’s true that, over the years, several Derbyshire players lived what could be described as turbulent lifestyles, but it seems strange that between 1876 and 1928, MCC played Derbyshire at Lord’s, while over the same time period Middlesex couldn’t bring themselves to play Derbyshire at all.

However, once the county championship became formalised, with county fixtures organised at the centre by the game’s ruling body, Middlesex and Derbyshire began to meet on a regular basis with their first game taking place at Lord’s on 20th July 1929, and the return fixture one week later at Derby.

Derbyshire’s highest innings score against Middlesex is 557-6 declared at Derby just under three months ago. Two players scored hundreds – Leus du Plooy (118) and Billy Godleman (102), and three players recorded scores in the nineties – Fynn Hudson-Prentice (99) on debut, Luis Reece (96) and Anuj Dal (92).

This was only the second instance of Derbyshire players scoring three nineties in the same match, but the first instance of this occurring in the same innings.

Needless to say, five scores of 90+ in the same innings is also a Derbyshire record.

The highest innings total by Middlesex is the 545 all out at Derby in 1994, a game memorable for Richard Johnson’s 10-45 in Derbyshire’s second innings.

Derbyshire’s lowest innings score is 60, at Lord’s in 2013, while Middlesex’ is 29 at Chesterfield in 1957.

Derbyshire players have scored 30 first class hundreds against Middlesex, with Michael Di Venuto’s 192 not out at Lord’s in 2002 being the highest. Di Venuto also scored 113 in the second innings of that match. The only other player to record two centuries in a match was Chris Adams, who made 125 and 136 not out in the game at Derby in 1996.

Five current members of the Derbyshire side have scored centuries against Middlesex, Matt Critchley (one), Billy Godleman (two), Leus du Plooy (one), Wayne Madsen (two) and Luis Reece (one).

Derbyshire batsmen have scored 11 hundreds at Lord’s with Critchley and Godleman both registering tons in the game there in 2018.

No Derbyshire batsman has scored a century on debut against Middlesex, although Hudson-Prentice came closest with his 99 earlier this summer.

Godleman’s 105 not out at Lord’s in 2018 was just the third instance of a Derbyshire player carrying his bat through a completed innings against Middlesex; Di Venuto (192 out of 414) at Lord’s in 2002, and Charlie Lee (96 out of 211) at Chesterfield in 1956 making up the trio.

Four Middlesex batsmen have scored double centuries against Derbyshire; Mike Gatting (215 not out at Lord’s in 1991), Denis Compton (214 not out at Lord’s in 1939), Bill Edrich (208 not out at Chesterfield in 1956) and Owais Shah (203 at Southgate in 2001). Dawid Malan, however, came close with 199 during the game at Derby in June this year.

There have been 9 instances of Derbyshire bowlers taking 10 wickets in a match, with both Les Jackson and Tommy Mitchell performing the feat twice. Mitchell’s 13-113 at Derby in 1934 remains the best match analysis and the most recent is the 10-125 by Kevin Dean at Derby in 2002.

Special mentions go to Cliff Gladwin (11-41 at Chesterfield in 1957) and his long-time bowling partner, Les Jackson (10-56 at Burton-on-Trent in 1960).

There have 51 instances of bowlers taking five wickets in an innings for Derbyshire – Les Jackson leading the way with eight and a best of 8-44 at Burton in 1960. That remains the best innings analysis, although Bill Copson leads the way at Derby with his 7-39 in 1939.

The most recent was Tony Palladino’s 5-39 at Derby in 2011.

Eddie Gothard took a hat-trick against Middlesex at Derby in 1947 – and somehow persuaded his 3 victims to photographed alongside him – while Tom Poynton became the 6th youngest player to appear in a championship game for Derbyshire when he made his debut at Southgate in 2007.

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