Worcestershire vs Derbyshire - Specsavers County Championship

Tuesday 27th September 2016
Written by Danny Painter

Centuries from Wayne Madsen and Harvey Hosein were not enough to prevent a nine-wicket defeat at the hands of Worcestershire at the New Road in the final Specsavers County Championship match of the season.

Derbyshire headed west of the Midlands in a bid to secure a Division Two win but a career-best 196 from Joe Clarke and an all-round performance form Joe Leach, scoring a century and claiming a five-wicket haul, meant the hosts came out on top.

An uncontested toss meant that Derbyshire took to the field first, and Tom Milnes struck with immediate impetus to restrict the hosts to 36-2. In his first over of the match, the paceman bowled Brett D’Oliveira for nought before Alex Hughes held onto to a slip chance to dismiss Tom Fell for 24.

Derbyshire’s early inroads paved the way for a resolutely response from the hosts as a 109-run partnership between opening batsman Daryl Mitchell and Clarke steered the scoreboard to 145 for two. Ben Cotton got the breakthrough when he trapped Mitchell leg before for 67.

Unwavering at the crease, Clarke recorded his fifth Championship century of the season, coming off 200 balls. His century meant the right-hander finished as the leading run-scorer for the Pears in first-class cricket this season.

The pendulum of dominance swung from Worcester to Derbyshire in the evening session after three wickets fell. First, George Rhodes perished for 16 to give Cotton his second wicket, before Tom Kohler-Cadmore (9) had his stumps uprooted by Tony Palladino. Cotton struck late before the close of play, when he had Ben Cox caught for five. Cotton finished the day on figures of 3-46.

The hosts started day two on 255-6, and overnight batsmen Clarke, unbeaten on 117 and Joe Leach batted through the first session fairly untroubled, hitting 148 form 20 overs.

However, on the stroke of lunch, Clarke, six runs away from recording his maiden double-century, attempted to reach the landmark with a maximum boundary, but instead was caught out in the deep by Alex Hughes.

Clarke and Leach shared a partnership of 157, breaking a ninety-year record for the seventh wicket in matches between the two counties.

The afternoon session was hampered by rain and bad light, with heavy rain bringing an early tea. Not before Leach brought up only his second first-class century, coming off 138 deliveries. The right-hander was well-supported by Joe Barnard (32*) at the other end.

Leach was unbeaten on 107 when the severed playing conditions prompted a Worcestershire declaration of 475-7.

Derbyshire opening pair Ben Slater and Billy Godleman were left to face forty-eight overs but 15 deliveries later, rain put paid to the evening’s play, Derbyshire finishing on 15 for no loss.

At the start of the third day, the visitors added just four runs to their overnight score before Leach struck a double blow, dismissing Godleman (11) and Tom Wood (0) in the same over.

New to the crease, Madsen lasted seven balls before he become the third player back in the hutch. Slater continued to offer some respite at the top of the innings before he fell for 25. With the score on 59-4, Hosein and Alex Hughes added nine runs before Hughes was caught for four; Derbyshire reeling on 73-5 heading into lunch.

Thirty minutes after the resumption, Milnes and Hosein steered the visitors past 100 before Milnes was caught behind for 16. Hosein was partnered by first-class debutant Greg Cork and together, the pair guided Derbyshire to 194-6 at the tea interval.

Cork’s composed innings came to an end when he skied Leach to Clarke, who held on to dismiss the debutant one run short of a maiden half century.

Soon after, Worcestershire’s Ed Barnard found himself on a hat-trick, when he pinned Palladino (8) lbw before clean bowling Will Davis for nought.

In contention for his century on 95, Hosein was at risk of running out of partners, when Ben Cotton strode in at number 11. The 20-year old wicket-keeper eventually brought up his 240-ball century with his eleventh boundary of the innings.

Derbyshire were eventually all out for 248, Hosein the last man out, giving Leach his five-wicket haul. With a first innings deficit of 227, the visitors were forced to follow-on. Left to face eleven overs before the close, Slater was dismissed without scoring, Leach once more the architect.

After a short delay at the start of the final day, which accounted for five overs, Derbyshire resumed their overnight score on 15-1 and lost three wickets for 59 runs in the morning session. Leach, the chief destroyer on day three, dismissed Hughes for 12, before Barnard took two wickets to restrict Derbyshire to 74-4.

The top-order collapse was consolidated by 124-run partnership between Madsen and first-innings centurion Hosein. Together the pair celebrated Madsen’s sixth century of the season, coming off 122 balls. Shortly after, Madsen’s authority at the crease ceased when Charlie Morris trapped the right-hander leg before for exactly 100.

Still 29 runs in arrears, Hosein and Milnes ensured the visitors reached tea on 215-5. Heading into the final session, Milnes reached 36 before his wicket sparked a collapse which saw the visitors lose their last five wickets for 11 runs. Mitchell (2-5) and (2-26) took two wickets a piece, before Miguel Cummins finished off the innings with the new ball. Derbyshire all out for 266.

Set 40 runs to win and eighteen overs in which to do it, Worcestershire lost one wicket, when, for the second time in the match, Milnes dismissed D’Oliveira for nought, before the home-side moved through to a nine-wicket victory.

Worcestershire 475 for 7 dec (137 overs) (JM Clarke 194, J Leach 107*, DKH Mitchell 67, EG Barnard 32*, TC Fell 24; BD Cotton 3 for 63, TP Milnes 2 for 90) and 40 for 1 (DKH Mitchell 28*)

Derbyshire 248 (85.3 overs) (HR Hosein 108, GTG Cork 49, BT Slater 25; J Leach 5 for 60, CAJ Morris 2 for 35, EG Barnard 2 for 61) and  266 (80.5 overs) (WL Madsen 100, HR Hosein 59, TP Milnes 36; DKH Milnes 2 for 5, BL D’Oliveira 2 for 26, J Leach 2 for 48, ML Cummins 2 for 57)

Worcestershire (23 points) beat Derbyshire (3) by 9 wickets

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