Derbyshire play Leeds/Bradford Marylebone Cricket Club University (MCCU) at Weetwood, Leeds, in the county’s opening match of the season.
Heritage Officer, David Griffin, looks at the statistical background to the fixture.
The sides have met on four previous occasions – all at Derby – with all ending in a draw, and all, similarly, had non-first-class status.
The first meeting was in April 2001, and in awful conditions, Derbyshire batted first under the captaincy of Tim Munton and made 340-9 declared with Michael Di Venuto making a sparkling 127. The inexperienced opponents were dismissed for 180 with Paul Aldred the pick of the bowlers, taking 4-42, and when Derbyshire batted for a second time, opener Luke Sutton with an undefeated 102 and Karl Krikken with a quickfire 86 allowed their side to declare on 248-3 from just 57 overs.
However, the weather had the final say as Leeds/Bradford ended the game on 69-2.
One remarkable statistic from this game was the bowling of six seven-ball overs – four in Derbyshire’s first innings and two in the Leeds/Bradford second innings.
The game in 2003 was also badly affected by the weather, but not before Derbyshire’s batsman had indulged themselves in an orgy of run-scoring, making 511-5 declared in 111 overs. Andrew Gait and Shahid Afridi both scored half centuries opening the batting, before Steve Selwood and Dominic Hewson added 297 runs for the fourth wicket, Selwood making 157, and Hewson an unbeaten 153.
The university side reached 108-5 during the much interrupted second and third days as the game petered out into a draw.
The game between these two sides in May 2009 was played in much more pleasant weather, and Derbyshire’s batsmen enjoyed themselves, with four of them making centuries.
Steve Stubbings (125) and Wavell Hinds (126) made hay on the first day allowing Derbyshire to declare after 99 overs on 424-9. Richard Browning, who had played one List A game for Derbyshire in 2006, opened the bowling for Bradford/Leeds, although it was his partner, future England Test player, Toby Roland-Jones, who was the stand-out performer with the ball, taking 5-81 in 23.1 overs.
Leeds/Bradford were then dismissed for 219, with John Clare and Mark Lawson taking three wickets apiece, before Ross Whiteley (103 not out) and John Sadler (100 not out) helped Derbyshire to 283-2 declared, leaving the visitors to score an unlikely 489 to win. However, the university side batted through to an early close with their score on 44-2.
The final game between these teams took place at Derby in May 2011, when Derbyshire’s opponents included Joe Leach – now a successful all-rounder at Worcestershire; Dan Hodgson – who would keep wicket for Derbyshire in an emergency capacity for one first class game in 2014; and Luis Reece – now a regular member of the current Derbyshire side.
Leach demonstrated his potential in taking 5-50 in Derbyshire’s first innings of 305 all out, as Dan Redfern top-scored with 82, while Usman Khawaja made 58.
The students then amassed 437 all out off 121 overs as their opening batsman, Simon Barrett, made an impressive and determined 168. Harry Bush, an American from California scored 75, while left-arm spinner, Tom Knight, had an extended bowl, and took 7-153 in 45.2 overs.
In Derbyshire’s second innings, the Reece/Hodgson combination removed Paul Borrington without scoring, before Chesney Hughes made a confident, undefeated 108, Derbyshire declaring on 241-3 with the game once again ending early as a draw.
Despite this latest fixture once more not having first-class status, it will nevertheless provide an opportunity for Derbyshire’s players to feel the grass under their feet and stake a claim for selection for the opening Championship fixture against Middlesex.
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