Statistical Preview: Leicestershire

Tuesday 23rd May 2017
& News
Written by Danny Painter

Derbyshire meet Leicestershire this week at Derby in the only first class game between the two sides in 2017.

Heritage Officer, David Griffin, looks at the statistical background to the game.

For decades, the County Championship had a natural imbalance; with 17 counties for much of the 20th century playing anything between 20 and 28 games.

Accordingly, some teams were played once, others twice and only with the arrival of Durham and four-day cricket, did uniformity finally arrive in 1992 as every county played each other once.

When two divisions arrived in 2000, uniformity was maintained as everyone played each other at home and away. So, although a second division of 10 teams, each playing 14 matches seems – and indeed, is – illogical, it’s nothing new.

The upshot of this is that Derbyshire and Leicestershire will meet just once in first class cricket this season in what will be their 210th fixture. Only Lancashire has been Derbyshire’s opponents more often in the first-class game.

Of the previous 209, Derbyshire have claimed 60 victories, Leicestershire 63, with 86 drawn games and one abandonment at Chesterfield in 1926.

Derbyshire had the upper hand in their first two contests, in 1894, winning both, and during the 1930s, during a remarkable run of twenty consecutive matches between the two counties, Derbyshire won 12 and drew the other eight.

More recently, in the final game of the 2014 season, Derbyshire recorded their highest-ever victory by runs, defeating Leicestershire by the huge margin of 408 runs at Derby.

Derbyshire batsmen have produced some excellent performances over the years, with four players scoring double hundreds, Leslie Townsend, William Storer, Mohammad Azharuddin, and Kim Barnett – who scored two; while in the aforementioned game in 2014, Ben Slater scored hundreds in each innings of the match, one of only 17 Derbyshire players to do so.

William Storer’s unbeaten 216 in the game at Chesterfield in 1899 was the highest-ever score by a Derbyshire wicket-keeper, and amazingly, a game in which Storer also took the pads off and bowled.

Amongst the outstanding bowling feats against Leicestershire, leg-spinner, Tommy Mitchell, recorded innings figures of 10-64 at Leicester in 1935, only the second instance of a bowler taking all ten wickets in an innings in the club’s history, and Dominic Cork took 9-43 at Derby in 1995, while the best match figures are 13-73 by Les Jackson at Derby in 1962.

Finally, three Derbyshire players have taken hat tricks against Leicestershire, more than against any other county, Ole ‘Stan’ Mortensen in 1987 at Derby, and Kevin Dean (2000) and Tony Palladino (2012) at Leicester.

Supporters can save £4 by purchasing their matchday tickets in advance of the day of the game. Buy online, over the phone by calling 01332 388 101 or in person at The 3aaa County Ground.

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