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LV=CC REPORT: Derbyshire v Lancashire 2015

Wednesday 22nd April 2015
Written by Danny Painter

Tom Taylor returned career-best figures of 6-61 but Derbyshire fell to a 250-run defeat in their first LV= County Championship fixture.

Wes Durston scored a quick-fire 85 in the first innings during a 149-run partnership with Billy Godleman – who scored 76 – as Derbyshire reached near parity at the halfway stage.

Lancashire however, set Derbyshire a daunting target of 365 runs to win which proved too much for Graeme Welch’s men.

Derbyshire’s LV= County Championship season started in dull conditions, and a strong cold wind blew across The 3aaa County ground all day. Wayne Madsen won the toss and asked Lancashire to take first innings, and Derbyshire’s opening bowlers, Mark Footitt and Tony Palladino, took a wicket each in the first five overs. Petersen and Prince were made to work hard so that only 61 runs had been scored before lunch, and two more wickets had fallen.

Lancashire skipper, Tom Smith, joined Petersen and together they battled hard for almost forty overs to add 135 for the fifth wicket. Petersen reached his hundred from 149 balls, and there were useful contributions from Davies and Siddle. Even though the lights had been used for much of the day, only eighteen minutes were lost during the day and Lancashire were probably quite pleased to have reached 292 for eight.

Lancashire’s last two wickets fell in one Tom Taylor over at the start of the second day, so their innings finished on 293 with the last four wickets having added only one run. Derbyshire lost three early wickets – 26 for three – before Billy Godleman and Wes Durston played an increasingly confident partnership of 149 for the fourth wicket.

Derbyshire must have felt that they were in a strong position, but there followed a disappointing period which started when Durston mistimed a lofted drive to be out for an aggressive 85 from 102 balls.

Godleman followed ten overs later for a well-crafted 76, but it took innings from two of the less experienced players, Alex Hughes and Harvey Hosein, to bring Derbyshire somewhere close to parity on first innings. When Footitt and Taylor took three early wickets before the close, Derbyshire had every reason to feel confident about the way the game was developing.

Petersen was out early on the third day, but once again a fifth wicket stand developed, this time between Prince and Croft, who together added 160 and thus helped Lancashire to take the initiative. After Croft was out for 70 he was followed by four more batsmen while only forty-two runs were added.

The youthful Taylor had produced his best spell of bowling so far in his short career as he took three wickets for only three runs in seven overs. Taylor took six of the first seven wickets to fall, and he finished with career-best figures of six for 61. With one wicket left to fall Lancashire were 264 runs in the lead, and Derbyshire must again have been hopeful of a reasonable run-chase to finish the match.

It was at this point, however, that Jarvis joined Alex Davies, who decided that attack was the best policy. It was one of those days when everything he tried seemed to come off and this pair added exactly one hundred for the last wicket, a new record for Lancashire in matches against Derbyshire. It was all very frustrating for Derbyshire, but it made for exhilarating watching for the neutral spectator.

When Davies was out for 89 from 99 balls, Derbyshire were left with a minimum of 109 overs in which to make an improbable 365 to win. They were not helped when they lost both openers before the close which was taken at 27 for two. Nightwatchman Taylor was soon out on the last morning, and the main hope for Derbyshire seemed to rest with their two senior batsmen, Martin Guptill, making a most welcome return to his old county, and Madsen. In eight overs together they scored a fluent 39 before Guptill appeared unlucky to have been given out caught at the wicket off the second ball bowled by Kyle Jarvis.

Jarvis was causing the ball to swing from the off quite sharply and Derbyshire’s batsmen struggled to cope with this movement. It was both a surprise and a disappointment that there was so little resistance as Derbyshire were bowled out for only 114 to lose what had for most of the time seemed a well-contested, evenly-balanced match by 250 runs.

Derbyshire’s next two championship matches are both away from home, at Bristol and Cardiff, and then they will play a home match against Northamptonshire, starting on Sunday 10th May.

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