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LV=CC Report: Derbyshire vs Kent 2015

Tuesday 25th August 2015
Written by Danny Painter

Kent won the toss on a pitch which they expected would help their seam bowlers and they asked Derbyshire to bat first. Ben Slater and Billy Godleman stayed together until fifteen minutes before lunch when Slater misjudged a straight ball from Hunn. The opening pair had put on 93 for the first wicket, and another wicket followed shortly after the interval when Chesney Hughes was caught at slip.

Now Wayne Madsen joined Godleman and they added 62 for the third wicket. At this point Godleman, who had worked so hard to complete his hundred (146 balls, 10 fours), was also caught at slip and there followed a disappointing passage of play for Derbyshire.Two balls after Madsen was dismissed Shiv Thakor was struck on the helmet, a blow which meant that he could take no further part in the match.   Derbyshire lost five wickets besides this retirement while only twenty-three runs were added.

Mark Footitt and Ben Cotton earned their team another batting point as they added a further twenty-three for the last wicket, but the final score of 253 was far less than Derbyshire would have expected in mid-afternoon. The Kent openers survived the eleven overs which remained in the day and finished on 27 for no wicket.

On the second morning Derbyshire’s bowlers combined to make scoring very difficult – at one point thirty-two balls were bowled without a run being scored – and this pressure brought about a mid-order collapse which was to have a significant effect on the match situation.   Footitt, Cotton and Tony Palladino captured four wickets in four overs at a cost of only six runs – 68 for five after having brought up their fifty without loss was a dire position for Kent.

These three seam bowlers kept up the pressure so that Kent were all out for 159 with their wicket-keeper, Billings, unable to bat after dislocating a finger during the third over of the match. Ryan Davies was called up from the England Under 19 ODI squad to act as substitute wicket-keeper after Bell-Drummond had filled in for forty-six overs.

Now Derbyshire, with a lead of 94, looked to consolidate their position and Slater and Godleman again gave them a good start with forty-three for the opening stand. Chesney Hughes joined Godleman and this pair stayed together until the umpires ended play early as the light deteriorated and rain followed.   73 for one at the close.

Godleman and Hughes continued on the third morning and took their partnership to 114 before Hughes fell to a sweep against Tredwell soon after he had reached his fifty (107 balls, 8 fours). The weather forecast for the final day was poor so Madsen tried to push the score along so that he would be in a position to declare before the close. Shortly after Godleman reached his second hundred of the match – and his third in three innings (the first time this had been accomplished by a Derbyshire batsman since Kim Barnett in 1990) – there was another interruption for bad light and rain. Derbyshire decided to declare, thus leaving Kent a target of 329 runs to win in a nominal 115 overs.

More rain reduced this to 105 overs before Kent could start their final innings when their openers took their score to thirty without loss by the close. Two wickets fell early on the last morning to give Derbyshire high hopes that Kent would capitulate, but Key and Northeast stayed together and scored with increasing confidence against Derbyshire’s four-man attack (Alex Hughes had joined Thakor on the injured list following a blow to his hand during the second innings).

The weather, although overcast, remained much better than expected, and for a while it looked as though Kent were going to be able to reach their target with some comfort. Fortunately for Derbyshire Key was dismissed by Palladino after he had shared a third-wicket partnership of 105 with his captain.   Ben Harmison became the third Kent batsman to reach his fifty, but he was caught at slip off the occasional bowling of Chesney Hughes on the stroke of tea. Light rain began to fall as the players were leaving the field, and play could not resume afterwards.

Everyone waited in the hope that the match, now in a tantalisingly poised position, could be played to a finish, but the rain, after teasing us by stopping, started again and the umpires decided that the match should be abandoned as a draw shortly before 5.30pm. This was frustrating for both teams since Kent needed just 98 more runs to win and Derbyshire must have had hopes of capturing five further wickets, but it was not to be and everyone was left wondering.

Derbyshire have three more championship matches, the first at The Oval against Surrey and then two more at home against Essex and Leicestershire.

Derbyshire 253 (83 overs) (BA Godleman 108, WL Madsen 46, BT Slater 33; MD Hunn 3 for 45, CJ Haggett 3 for 70, IAA Thomas 2 for 71) and 234 for 3 dec (67 overs) (BA Godleman 105*, CF Hughes 50, WL Madsen 43, BT Slater 20; IAA Thomas 2 for 68)

Kent 159 (57.5 overs) (RWT Key 29, MD Hunn 23*, SR Dickson 22, JC Tredwell 20; MHA Footitt 4 for 61, AP Palladino 2 for 21, BD Cotton 2 for 45) and 231 for 5 (66.5 overs) (SA Northeast 76, RWT Key 67, BW Harmison 50; MHA Footitt 2 for 64)

Derbyshire (10 points) drew with Kent (8)

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