LV=CC Report: Leicestershire vs Derbyshire 2015

Tuesday 11th August 2015
Written by Danny Painter

Derbyshire succumbed to a three-wicket defeat against Leicestershire at Grace Road as the hosts registered their first home LV= County Championship victory since September 2012.

Leicestershire resumed on 56-4 on the morning of Day Four with Niall O’Brien (87), Aadil Ali (42) and Andrea Agathangelou (32) all playing crucial hands in their pursuit of 273 to win the match.

Tony Palladino (3-32), who claimed his 200th first-class wicket for Derbyshire, and Ben Cotton (2-52) each struck towards the end of the afternoon session to put the match back in the balance, but Leicestershire got over the line courtesy of Ben Raine (31*) and Clint McKay (14*) to seal a three-wicket win.

On an overcast Friday morning Leicestershire won the toss and asked Derbyshire to bat first on a pitch which looked likely to be seam-bowler-friendly. This proved to be the case as Derbyshire’s batsmen struggled to survive against the moving ball. So difficult was it to score runs at the start of the day that Derbyshire’s fifty did not come up until the twenty-second over and the hundred after forty overs.

By this time the first four wickets had fallen and, had Wayne Madsen been held from a straightforward chance at slip when he had scored only eleven, Derbyshire would have been in deep trouble. Madsen survived, however, and, despite losing another partner at 118 for five, he led the fightback, first in a partnership of 71 with Shiv Thakor who made a fluent 41 from 56 balls, and then with Harvey Hosein who concentrated almost entirely on defence in a stand of 60 for the seventh wicket.

Mark Footitt, recently released from his England duties, was promoted to number ten and excelled himself as he recorded a career-best 34 out of 55 added with his captain for the ninth wicket. Derbyshire’s final total of 345 was far more than they might have expected after losing the toss, but it owed an enormous amount to the skills and determination of Madsen who finished undefeated on 172 (292 balls with 25 fours).

Leicestershire lost two early wickets to Footitt, but they recovered on a much more batsmen-friendly second day. Cosgrove, their captain, reached his hundred in 114 balls, but was caught off the next ball he received, again from Footitt. The Leicestershire tail-enders lasted longer than Derbyshire would have hoped, but the visitors finished with a first innings lead of 31. Footitt reminded the selectors of his capabilities with another five-wicket haul.

In their second innings Derbyshire were made to work hard again and they were indebted to the concentration and application of Billy Godleman who reached his hundred from 165 balls (9 fours) before being ninth out at 230. Clint McKay helped to finish Derbyshire’s innings earlier than they would have liked as he had a post-tea spell of four wickets for seven runs in 27 balls. Derbyshire’s total of 241 was fewer than they would have hoped for, but it did allow them twenty-one overs bowling at Leicestershire on the third evening.

Leicestershire needed 273 to win in a possible 117 overs, but four lbw decisions went in Derbyshire’s favour to leave the game finely balanced, but with Derbyshire probably in the stronger position. With rain forecast on the fourth day, anxious eyes turned towards the south-west in the hope that the weather would allow enough play for the match to be finished. The morning’s play was unexpected for more than one reason: first, the rain did not arrive at the time it had been forecast and, second, Leicestershire’s two not out batsmen batted throughout the session. Derbyshire bowled with purpose, but the batsmen, both having a bit of luck, managed to last a full thirty-three overs.

Now the balance of the game seemed to have swung in favour of the home side – it was going to need a special effort from Derbyshire if they were going to swing things back in their favour again. The pitch was playing as well as it had done throughout the match – Footitt made what it was hoped was the vital breakthrough, but the remaining Leicestershire batsmen fought all the way. The tea interval was delayed in the hope that the match could be finished early, but the players had to leave the field with five runs and three wickets still needed.   It took only two more balls before Leicestershire duly won what was only their second championship victory in three seasons.

Derbyshire 345 (103 overs) (WL Madsen 172*, SJ Thakor 41, MHA Footitt 34, AL Hughes 23; CE Shreck 4 for 84, CJ McKay 3 for 51, BA Raine 2 for 71) and 241 (66.3 overs) (BA Godleman 101, AL Hughes 28, WL Madsen 22; CJ McKay 4 for 39, BA Raine 3 for 53, RJ Sayer 2 for 59)

Leicestershire 314 (90.2 overs) (MJ Cosgrove 102, NJ O’Brien 60, AJ Robson 53, RJ Sayer 23; MHA Footitt 5 for 53, AP Palladino 2 for 43) and ( overs) (NJ O’Brien 87, A Ali 42, AP Agathangelou 32, LJ Hill 21; AP Palladino 3 for 32, BD Cotton 2 for57)

Leicestershire (22 points) beat Derbyshire (6) by 3 wickets

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