Derbyshire return to Specsavers County Championship cricket on the south coast at Hove with a visit to what has recently been a happy hunting ground.
Heritage Officer, David Griffin, examines the statistical background to the game by looking at the previous 41 games between the two counties staged at Hove.
Overall this will be the 138th scheduled match between the two counties at first-class level; Derbyshire having won 40, Sussex 45, with 50 draws, and two abandonments.
Derbyshire first played at Hove in 1880, winning a very one-sided game inside two of the three scheduled days, bowling Sussex out for 45 before lunch on the first day, George Hay taking 6-16 and Bill Mycroft 4-22.
Derbyshire awaydays in Sussex tended to be confined to Hove throughout the late 19th century and into the 20th century, before the introduction of Horsham, Eastbourne and Worthing as county venues saw them playing only intermittently at Hove.
Since 1968, however, Derbyshire have played Sussex at Hove on 12 occasions, winning eight times, with two defeats and two draws.
Despite that run of victories, and an overall good record at Hove, only three Derbyshire players have ever scored a hundred there; Edward Ashcroft (111) in 1904, John Wright (115) in 1979, and Kim Barnett (123) in 1990. Six players, however, made nineties – Sam Cadman, Stan Worthington, Laurie Johnson, Paul Newman, Chris Adams and Wayne Madsen.
Generally, it’s been bowlers who have been to the fore in Derbyshire’s victories, notably Fred Swarbrook, who took 9-20 – the fourth best innings analysis ever for the county – and 13-62 in the match in 1975, and Devon Malcolm, who took 10 wickets in the 47-run win in 1996 when Derbyshire were chasing the county championship title. Adrian Rollins, in making an unbeaten 78 out of 220, became the only batsman to carry his bat through a completed innings for Derbyshire at Hove.
The 2017 fixture produced one of the most outstanding individual bowling performances in Derbyshire’s history. Hardus Viljoen, in only his fourth first-class match for the county, recorded remarkable match figures of 15-170 (7-80 and 8-90).
Viljoen became only the fith player to take 15 wickets in a match for Derbyshire, and the first since Cliff Gladwin in 1952; he also became the first Derbyshire bowler to take 13 or more wickets in a match since Paul Aldred took 13-184 against Lancashire at Derby in 1999.
Henry Evans – who only took 19 first class wickets for Derbyshire, took the only hat trick for the county at Hove in 1881, and the Indian, Srinivas Venkatraghavan, best-known as an off-spinner, took a Derbyshire record-equalling (for an outfielder) 6 catches in the 1975 match in which Swarbrook took 13 wickets.
Interestingly, in that match, the overseas Test cricketer, Venkat, took 0-32 in Sussex’ second innings, while the 24 year old, Derby-born Swarbrook took 9-20.
Four-day cricket is back! Derbyshire host three Specsavers County Championship matches in August and September. Buy in advance and save.