LV=CC REPORT: Gloucestershire vs Derbyshire 2015

Wednesday 29th April 2015
Written by Danny Painter

Derbyshire claimed their first LV= County Championship win of the new season as they defeated Gloucestershire by seven wickets thanks to a man of the match performance from Martin Guptill.

Guptill hit 11 sixes on his way to 227 in the first innings before taking four catches in Gloucestershire’s second innings and striking a further three sixes to take his team to victory.

Having bowled their hosts out for 275, Derbyshire achieved a sizable first-innings lead having declared on 545-9 after Harvey Hosein was out for a career-best 61.

Gloucestershire fought back to set Derbyshire a victory target of 142 which they got to with consummate ease after Billy Godleman hit a half-century and Guptill finished not out on a quick-fire 31.

Wayne Madsen was pleased to win the toss and bowl first in conditions which were expected to help the quicker bowlers.   They will have been disappointed, therefore, that they only managed to capture two wickets before lunch and another two during the afternoon. With their score on 227 for four at tea Gloucestershire had every reason to feel pleased with their efforts thus far.

In the twenty-four overs which followed, Derbyshire’s seamers did much to recover the initiative from the home team. Even so, a total of 275 would have been more than they would have hoped after winning the toss.

Ben Slater and Billy Godleman reached 24 without loss from the final six overs of the day. Slater was dropped at slip from the first ball of the second morning, so this pair was able to set a good foundation with 88 for the first wicket before Godleman was caught at the wicket for 44. Martin Guptill joined Slater and together they played sensibly in adding 74 from eighteen overs. Slater was out for a steady, well-crafted 56 from 140 balls.

Soon after this Guptill, on 57, his fifty having come from 53 balls with eleven fours, was dropped at first slip by captain Geraint Jones. This proved to be one of the more costly errors as Guptill went on to take full advantage in a match-changing innings. Madsen and Durston fell in quick succession, so the game seemed evenly poised at 191 for four. Shiv Thakor came in at the fall of the fourth wicket and there followed a period of quiet reconnaissance, lasting seventeen overs before tea, as this pair took Derbyshire to the interval on 270 for four. By now Guptill had passed his hundred (from 101 balls) with 19 fours and a six, while Thakor had contributed a mere 22 runs.

The period after tea saw one of the most remarkable displays of sustained hitting which can ever have been seen by a Derbyshire player in a first-class match. The power and audacity of Guptill’s strokeplay was reminiscent of his success in the recent World Cup, and every spectator will have felt privileged to have been present for such an onslaught.

Thakor was out in the twelfth over after the interval with the score on 381; of the 111 runs scored in that time Thakor had hit 61 as Guptill had unselfishly allowed his junior partner a fair share of the strike. Thakor had made 83 from 109 balls with thirteen fours and a six.

After the loss of another wicket – 381 for six – Harvey Hosein came to the wicket and played very quietly as Guptill played ever-more aggressively. The fifty partnership came from just twenty-six balls with Guptill having scored 47 from fifteen balls while Hosein had yet to get off the mark after facing eleven balls. During this time successive overs were hit for twenty-three and twenty-seven, a total of fifty runs in two overs, a feat which can rarely have been equaled in serious cricket.

When Guptill was finally caught for 227 from 176 balls he had hit twenty-nine fours and eleven sixes. One of the sixes had bounced on the roof of the three-storey pavilion and disappeared into the gardens beyond, while another had hit the ledge above the top windows of the new five-storey blocks of flats at the far end of the ground. It was breath-taking stuff and made for exhilarating watching for those fortunate enough to have seen it.

Tony Palladino added a quick run-a-ball twenty before Hosein and Tom Taylor saw out the day on 511 for eight from 102 overs. Only twenty-five runs came from the last 6.2 overs, but there was a remarkable 241 scored in the thirty-two overs after tea.

Next morning Derbyshire’s ninth-wicket pair continued for another forty minutes during which time the hugely-promising Hosein completed his maiden first-class fifty from 68 balls with six fours and two sixes. When Hosein was out Derbyshire declared with a lead of 270 runs.

Mark Footitt took an early wicket, but it was soon clear that this was not going to be an easy pitch on which to take wickets. Tony Palladino and Footitt bowled much more effectively than at the start of the first innings but, with the batsmen intent on defence, there seemed little chance of a breakthrough. Even so Palladino captured two wickets before tea while Tom Taylor dismissed the dangerous Roderick. When Gloucestershire had slipped to 171 for five there were some who thought that the match might be over that evening, but there was some strong resistance from Marshall and Noema-Barnett who added 82 before the latter was wonderfully caught by Guptill in the last over of the day – 253 for six, still seventeen runs behind.

Now there were those who predicted a finish before lunch but once again there was more resistance from Marshall and Fuller (51 from 76 balls) and there were anxious thoughts among the Derbyshire faithful. Footitt bowled Fuller and then had Marshall caught high and one-handed by Guptill at cover, his third outstanding catch of the innings. Now followed a ninth-wicket stand of 46 before Footitt captured his sixth wicket of the innings – and his ninth of the match.

When Gloucestershire were eventually all out Derbyshire were left needing 142 to win from a minimum of 53 overs. Slater and Godleman got their team off to a good start again with Godleman playing some fine drives through extra-cover. They took lunch on 63 without being parted, but they fell to successive balls when the score had reached 81. Madsen looked in good touch as he hit five fours in an all-too-short innings, but Guptill was in imperious mood yet again: he hit three sixes in one over before ensuring that Derbyshire got over the line without any more alarms. Derbyshire thus recorded their first championship win of the season by seven wickets with 19.1 overs to spare.

Derbyshire travel to Glamorgan for their next championship match next week – starting on Sunday.

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