After a 25-day hiatus, four-day Specsavers County Championship cricket returns for Derbyshire in the shape of a trip to the North-East to play Durham.
Heritage Officer, David Griffin, looks at the statistical background to the game.
Derbyshire’s last match in red ball cricket was against Durham at The 3aaa County Ground which ended in a draw, and the return fixture sees Derbyshire play a first-class match in Durham for the 13th time. In all first-class cricket, the sides have met previously on 25 occasions, Derbyshire winning five, Durham 11, with nine draws.
Derbyshire’s first game in Durham was during the hosts’ second season in the County Championship in 1993 when the sides met at The Racecourse Ground, Durham. The new ground at Chester-le-Street was still being built and Durham’s matches in their first couple of seasons with first-class status were played around the county at numerous venues.
That game was affected by rain and ended in a draw, although it was notable for John Morris captaining Derbyshire following an injury to Kim Barnett and scoring 45 and 83 in a match Derbyshire would probably have won had the weather not intervened. Ole Mortensen took 5-55 in Durham’s only innings, and, of course, at the end of that 1993 season, Morris would leave Derbyshire to ply his trade with Durham.
Derbyshire last won at Chester-le-Street in 2004, in part due to Jon Moss’ superb 147 not out in Derbyshire’s second innings, and six wickets each in the match from Mo Sheikh and Paul Havell. The win – in just three days – was by 165 runs.
Michael Di Venuto had an outstanding match at Chester-le-Street in 2001, scoring 111 in Derbyshire’s second innings to take his side to a four-wicket victory, but he also took five catches in Durham’s first innings and a further one in the second innings. Five catches in an innings and six in a match are both records (shared) in first-class cricket by a Derbyshire outfielder.
Since the start of the 21st century, Derbyshire players have scored three hundreds at Chester-le-Street in addition to those by Moss and Di Venuto mentioned above.
Di Venuto scored a superb 150 in 2003, Steven Stubbings made 101 in 2005, while Luis Reece scored 106 in the game last year.
Derbyshire bowlers have also performed well since the turn of the century – Graeme Welch’s 6-30 are the best bowling figures by any Derbyshire bowler against Durham, while Kevin Dean, Ian Hunter, Welch again, Mark Footitt, and in 2017, Hardus Viljoen, have all taken five wickets in an innings at Chester-le-Street.
Vitality Blast is back! Derbyshire Falcons host seven Twenty20 games this July and August. Purchase your tickets in advance and save from £4. Buy online or call 01332 388 101.