LVCC Report: Derbyshire vs Leicestershire 2015

Monday 28th September 2015
Written by Danny Painter

Derbyshire rounded of their 2015 campaign with a thrilling draw versus Leicestershire in a match which Mark Footitt recorded career-best figures of 7-71 and took a further three wickets in the second innings to secure his first 10-wicket haul.

Footitt’s seven wickets helped to dismiss Leicestershire for 329 before 95 from Wayne Madsen in addition to Ben Slater’s 70 meant that Derbyshire posted 352 in their first innings to secure a modest lead.

A brilliant century from Leicestershire skipper Mark Cosgrove (156) helped Leicestershire set Derbyshire an unlikely target of 341 to win in less than a day after they were bowled out for 363 second time around.

Chesney Hughes scored his second LV= County championship century of the summer whilst there were also half-centuries for Slater, Madsen and Billy Godleman but the captains shook hands on a draw with the hosts only 10 runs away from victory.

Wayne Madsen won the toss and, as always seems to happen at Derby, the captain winning the toss chose to field first. Despite a quick start to their innings, the visitors were in trouble by the time a brief shower took the players off for lunch three minutes early. The score now was 117 for five with Mark Footitt having taken the first four wickets in the space of twenty-two balls while conceding no runs from the bat.

Things continued to go well for Derbyshire after the interval as three more wickets fell to leave Leicestershire struggling on 154 for eight. At this point Zac Chappell, a 19-year old debutant, joined Taylor, and they stayed together to add 81 for the ninth wicket. Chappell was dropped when he had scored 33, and he went on to take full advantage of his escape. After Taylor was out, well caught by Tom Knight at short extra-cover off the bowling of Wes Durston, Chappell went on to pass his fifty from 85 balls and he shared in a most frustrating last wicket stand of 94 with Freckingham.

So Leicestershire finished with what had seemed a most improbable 329 when Footitt bowled Chappell when he was four short of a maiden hundred. Footitt thus took his seventh wicket with the only ball bowled with the second new ball and recorded a career-best bowling analysis of seven for 71.

Derbyshire had ten overs batting before the close and Ben Slater and Billy Godleman got them off to a flying start with 54 runs before the close. When he had reached fourteen, Godleman had passed one thousand runs in a season for the first time in his career. Godleman was soon out next morning and a second wicket fell soon afterwards before Slater and Madsen doubled the score to 166 at which point Slater fell for 70. Durston stayed with Madsen while seventy runs were added and then Tom Knight, playing his first first-class game as a batsman, survived a nervy start to score a competent 25. Bad light took the players from the field with Derbyshire on 277 for five, but it improved just enough for play to resume. During the 3.4 overs which were possible in the gloom before the umpires took the players from the field again, Derbyshire lost two more wickets while only four runs were added.

An oddity during this brief interlude was that four different batsmen with the name of Tom faced five successive balls.  Madsen had fallen just before that stoppage for another of his typical unselfish, hard-working innings for a fine 95 (154 balls with 14 fours).

Next morning Tom Milnes and Ben Cotton added an invaluable 65 together for the ninth wicket to give Derbyshire an improbable, but very welcome, fourth batting point. Cotton was last out for a career-best 43.

Leicestershire started their second innings shakily as they slipped to 55 for three, but Cosgrove and Ali steadied things with a stand of 144 for the fourth wicket.   Cosgrove received more support from Hill and Raine before the close when his team had reached 307 for seven, a lead of 284.   Derbyshire needed quick wickets on the fourth morning, but Cosgrove continued to dominate as he took his own score to 156 (203 balls with 19 fours and 3 sixes) and guided his team to a prosperous 363. Durston took his second six-wicket haul in three matches to post new career-best figures, while Footitt took ten wickets in a match for the first time.

Derbyshire were thus set the daunting target of 341 to win from a minimum of eighty-one overs, and Slater and Godleman gave them an excellent start with 103 for the first wicket, with both batsmen passing their fifties.   Chesney Hughes was made to battle hard at first, but he gained in confidence and he also reached his fifty from 82 balls. He was partnered by Madsen and this pair played with great good sense to establish a position from which they could accelerate. With nine overs and eight wickets remaining, everything seemed to be going well for Derbyshire: Hughes had just reached his second hundred of the season (152 balls with 9 fours and a six) and Madsen was accelerating, but they both fell in successive overs from Taylor. When Madsen had reached fifty-one he became the second Derbyshire batsmen to pass one thousand championship runs for the season. Derbyshire had reached 292 for four, so 49 more runs were needed with thirty-nine balls remaining. Durston scored briskly and seemed to have settled things in Derbyshire’s favour when he hit Taylor for a four and a six from successive balls.   Knight hit a couple of boundaries himself so, with fifteen balls and six wickets left, Derbyshire needed only another fourteen runs to win.

What followed next was one of the most disappointing passages of play for Derbyshire throughout the season.   Durston was caught at long-on to be followed shortly afterwards by Tom Poynton being bowled for two. Then, as they scrambled to score the necessary runs both Milnes and Taylor were run out going for second runs. Four wickets had fallen in the space of ten balls while only four runs were added. With ten runs needed from the last five balls, and every fielder on the boundary, Derbyshire decided not to risk losing and Knight played each ball defensively and kept the strike in doing so.

So what had been a fascinating match full of fluctuations and swings of fortune ended in a draw, and the spectators were able to go home and ponder on the might-have-beens for the long winter ahead.

Leicestershire 329 (80.1 overs) (ZJ Chappell 96, EJH Eckersley 50, A Ali 37, RML Taylor 37, OH Freckingham 34*; MHA Footitt 7 for 71) and 363 (87.1 overs) (MJ Cosgrove 156, A Ali 62, LJ Hill 28, BA Raine 27, AJ Robson 24; WJ Durston 6 for 109, MHA Footitt 3 for 84)

Derbyshire 352 (106.4 overs) (WL Madsen 95, BT Slater 70, BD Cotton 43, BA Godleman 31, WJ Durston 29, TC Knight 25, TP Milnes 23; OH Freckingham 4 for 91, BA Raine 2 for 70, RML Taylor 2 for 79) and 331 for 8 (81 overs) (CF Hughes 101, WL Madsen 66, BT Slater 56, BA Godleman 51, WJ Durston 29; RML Taylor 2 for 68, BA Raine 2 for 96)

Derbyshire (12 points) drew with Leicestershire (11)

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