LV=CC Report: Northamptonshire vs Derbyshire 2015

Monday 20th July 2015
Written by Danny Painter

Alex Hughes hit his maiden first-class century to help Derbyshire record a seven-wicket win over Northamptonshire inside three days.

Hughes top-scored as Derbyshire posted 361 batting first before dismissing their hosts for just 166 with Mark Footitt taking 5-41 and Ben Cotton 3-26.

Northants were asked to follow on and a century from Ben Duckett got them past parity but they could only set Derbyshire 72 to win – a total which Graeme Welch’s men reached with seven wickets to spare.

When Wayne Madsen won the toss in this return match with Northants he did not hesitate in choosing to bat first.   Hamish Rutherford and Billy Godleman started briskly, but the weakened Northants attack made things more difficult as the day progressed. After the first wicket fell at 47 in the eleventh over, Rutherford and Chesney Hughes added a steady 76.

Both these batsmen fell with the score on 123, after which three more middle-order wickets fell before Derbyshire had gained their first batting bonus point. At this point Harvey Hosein joined Alex Hughes and they added a very competent 76 in just twenty overs. By now Hughes, especially strong on the off-side, had passed his first fifty of the season from 70 balls, and he began to play more aggressively when he was joined by Tony Palladino. This pair added 35 at five runs an over.

The ninth wicket fell at 314 with Hughes, on 81, looking as though he might be stranded short of his maiden hundred. Happily for him Ben Cotton, making a welcome return after injury, survived another seven overs, during which time Hughes scored another thirty runs despite having to contend with a defensive field which often had eight men on the boundary. There was much joy in the Derbyshire camp when Hughes did hit the four which took him past a hundred for the first time at first-class level. He had taken 141 balls and hit seventeen fours, a most significant innings in the situation.

Northamptonshire were left with two overs batting and Mark Footitt ended the day well by having Ben Duckett caught at slip from the first ball he received. Next morning Footitt took two more wickets and he was joined by Palladino, Cotton and Shiv Thakor in reducing Northants to 106 for seven at lunch.

Derbyshire took seven more overs to take the last three wickets with Footitt finishing with five for 41: it had been a fine display of fast aggressive bowling. With a lead of 245, Derbyshire enforced the follow-on and were pleased to dismiss Peters, so often a prolific run-scorer against them, in the third over of the inning. While makeshift opener Duckett played his shots, Wakely and Keogh concentrated on defence, but both succumbed to good balls from Cotton and Palladino.

Levi and Rossington joined Duckett in taking advantage of a tiring attack after the tea interval and the score moved along more quickly. Duckett and Rossington, who scored all his runs but the last single in boundaries, added 98 in fifteen overs before Palladino took two late wickets to leave Northants score on 245 for six at the close.

So Derbyshire started the third day with the scores level and needing four wickets before they would be able to bat again. They were made to wait longer than they would have wanted as Duckett and Cobb lasted more than seventy-five minutes before Duckett edged a Durston off-spinner to slip. Durston took two more wickets before Footitt returned with the new ball and bowled Chambers to finish the innings and give himself his fiftieth championshipwicket of the season.

Derbyshire had fifteen minutes to bat before lunch and lost a wicket to the second ball of the innings. Shortly before the interval Chesney Hughes was struck on the helmet and it was decided that it would be wiser for him to retire.

Derbyshire lost two more wickets in fifty minutes after lunch, but Durston and, fittingly, Alex Hughes, saw their team home with seven wickets in hand.

Derbyshire 361 (91.4 overs) (AL Hughes 111*, HD Rutherford 60, CF Hughes 32, BA Godleman 25, HR Hosein 23; RK Kleinveldt 4 for 99, MA Chambers 2 for 40, BW Sanderson 2 for 49) and 72 for 3 (14.2  overs) (extras 23)

Northamptonshire 116 (38.1 overs) (RE Levi 34; MHA Footitt 5 for 41, BD Cotton 3 for 26) and 316 (80.3 overs) (BM Duckett 154, AM Rossington 39, JJ Cobb 35, RE Levi 22; WJ Durston 3 for 55, AP Palladino 3 for 66, BD Cotton 2 for 62, MHA Footitt 2 for 73)

Derbyshire (23 points) beat Northamptonshire (3) by 7 wickets

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