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LV=CC REPORT: Derbyshire v Surrey 2015

Wednesday 24th June 2015
Written by Danny Painter

Surrey recorded a victory of 222 runs after bowling Derbyshire out for 125 in the evening session on Day Three.

Wayne Madsen won the toss and chose to field first on a pitch which was expected to favour the seam bowlers. He may have had some doubts when the Surrey openers passed fifty without being parted, but three wickets in five overs reduced the visitors to 69 for three and the situation was looking more promising for Derbyshire.

Surrey had reached 90 for three at lunch and this became 155 for six when Wes Durston was brought into the attack as a result of Tom Taylor pulling up lame as he was about to start his second spell. With the score on 178 for six Batty was dropped from a relatively straightforward chance at backward square-leg: this allowed Surrey to add a further 57 for the seventh wicket and rather take the momentum away from Derbyshire. Batty’s partner had been the more dominant Wilson who had made 65 in two and a half hours. Once Batty was caught behind by Tom Poynton, however, Surrey’s last four wickets fell in little over three overs while only four runs were added.

Even though they lost a wicket before the close, Derbyshire had every reason to feel satisfied with their day’s work as they finished on 64 for one with Ben Slater and Hamish Rutherford playing well together.

Despite a plentiful supply of overnight rain, play was able to start on time on the second morning. Slater and Rutherford continued for forty-five minutes before Slater fell for a hard-earned 28. Luke Fletcher, on loan from Nottinghamshire, had a sustained ten-over spell during which he took three wickets in fifteen balls, and this was probably the period which changed the course of the match.

Rutherford was made to work very hard for his 59 (from 112 balls with 10 fours), and it came as a surprise when he edged a catch to slip. Wes Durston played in his usual positive way to make 33 from 53 balls, but Derbyshire’s middle-order performance was way below what they would have expected of themselves. Eight wickets had fallen for only 89 runs, and it took a bold and entertaining innings from Tony Palladino to take his team past 200 (and a batting bonus point) in partnership with Mark Footitt.

A first-innings deficit of thirty-two was disappointing although the last-wicket pair had made it fewer than had seemed likely when they came together.

The second day was blighted by rain and bad light which brought the players off the field six times: even so only twenty-four overs were lost as a result of these interruptions before Surrey closed the second day on 77 for two.

Once again Derbyshire’s pace bowlers seemed to be doing the job which was hoped of them as they reduced Surrey to 170 for six, a lead of just over two hundred. If Derbyshire could take those last four wickets quickly, as they had in the first innings, then they would give themselves every chance of claiming a win. But James Burke, playing only his second championship match for Surrey, and Batty shared Surrey’s second seventh wicket partnership of eighty or more in the match, and this was followed by a stand of 41 for the eighth wicket.

Surrey finished with 315 (including a remarkable 61 extras), a score which meant that Derbyshire would have to score an unlikely 348 in a minimum of 127 overs. They were left with thirty-one overs to bat on the third evening, and they would have been hoping to go to the close with only one or two wickets down.

What followed was as surprising as it was disappointing. Ben Slater played another battling innings, but lost four partners before he became the fifth man out with the score on 48. While it would be unfair to identify individual lack of effort or intent, there seemed to be a collective lack of self-belief and purpose about the batting, and it was difficult for the Derbyshire faithful to take in what they were watching. Durston played watchfully, seemingly with little difficulty, but his partners, Wayne White excepted, for a little over half-an-hour, showed little fight and slumped to an almost inexplicable 95 for nine.

When there were only three wickets left to fall Surrey claimed the extra half-hour during which Footitt briefly entertained the crowd, and himself, as he hit three fours and a six in a breezy twenty. With only seven balls left of that final half-hour, Footitt was caught on the mid-wicket boundary and Surrey had won a match which even they could not have imagined would be so easily gained when they started bowling after tea.

It was a very disappointing result, one which will leave all concerned asking questions and seeking to find the right answers before the next championship match at Chesterfield against the in-form Glamorgan, starting on Monday 6th July.

Surrey 239 (72.5 overs) (GC Wilson, D Elgar 44, GJ Batty 41, A Harinath 35; WA White 3 for 43, MHA Footitt 3 for 74, TAI Taylor 2 for 30, WJ Durston 2 for 31) and 315 (90.2 overs) (JE Burke 73, DP Sibley 46, GJ Batty 37, Extras 61; MHA Footitt 4 for 102, TAI Taylor 2 for 65)
Derbyshire 207 (65 overs) (HD Rutherford 59, AP Palladino 35*, WJ Durston 33, BT Slater 28; LJ Fletcher 4 for 58, TK Curran 3 for 48, JE Burke 2 for 32) and 125 (WA White 23, WJ Durston 22*, MHA Footitt 20; GJ Batty 4 for 32, JE Burke 2 for 12, LJ Fletcher 2 for 21, TK Curran 2 for 31)

Surrey (20 points) beat Derbyshire (4) by 222 runs

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