Derbyshire open the 2019 season with a three-day first-class friendly against Leeds/Bradford MCCU at the Pattonair County Cricket Ground, starting on Tuesday 26 March.
Heritage Officer, David Griffin, looks at the statistical background to the game.
This opening fixture of the 2019 season sees Derbyshire play a first-class game in March for the first time in the club’s history, at what is the start of their longest scheduled season.
There have been five scheduled games between Derbyshire and Leeds / Bradford MCCU prior to this one, although none of them had first-class status.
Leeds/Bradford MCCU therefore become Derbyshire’s 43rd opponents in the first-class game, their last new opponent being Durham MCCU in 2014.
Derbyshire first played the Leeds / Bradford MCCU side in April 2001 at Derby when Michael Di Venuto scored 127 in Derbyshire’s first innings score of 340-9 declared.
Paul Aldred was the pick of the Derbyshire bowlers with four wickets when the students batted in their first innings, but Derbyshire chose not to enforce the follow-on and Luke Sutton made an unbeaten 102 opening the innings, before the game petered out into a draw on the final day.
The sides met again in 2003 at Derby, and the home side racked up 511-5 declared at a rate of just under five runs per over, with Steve Selwood making 157 and Dominic Hewson an unbeaten 153.
Unfortunately, rain shortened the game as the visitors reached 108-5 in their first and only innings.
The 2009 fixture was also interrupted by rain, although not before Steve Stubbings (125) and Wavell Hinds (126) made first innings hundreds, and Ross Whiteley (103 not out) and John Sadler (100 not out) made it four in the match for Derbyshire in the second innings.
Jon Clare and Mark Lawson shared the bowling honours with three wickets apiece.
Having dominated those early encounters, Derbyshire conceded a 132-run deficit after the first innings of the game in 2011. Derbyshire’s 305 all out included a top score of 82 from Dan Redfern and 58 from Usman Khawaja, before Simon Barrett’s 168 at the top of the innings dominated the Leeds / Bradford reply.
Derbyshire batted again and the match closed when they had reached 241 for 3 with Chesney Hughes 108 not out.
The final scheduled game between these sides was due to take place at Weetwood, Leeds, in April 2018. However, the ground was waterlogged, and the umpires took the decision to call off the three-day fixture at 9am on the second day.
So, 18 years after these two teams first played each other, they meet in 2019 in a match given first-class status by the ECB.
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