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Statistical Preview: Australia A

Friday 21st June 2019
& News
Written by Danny Painter

With the Australia A 2019 touring side arriving at The Pattonair County Ground on Sunday 23rd June for a 50-over contest, Heritage Officer and Statistician, David Griffin, looks at the statistical background to the game.

There have been nine officially recognised List A matches played by Derbyshire against touring teams with the first taking place in 1985, although in rather contrived circumstances.

The touring Australians had been scheduled to play a four-day game at Derby and on the opening day made 278-5 in 87 overs, with captain Allan Border scoring a century. However, overnight storms left the ground saturated on the second day, and despite glorious blues skies and warm sunshine – plus a close to capacity crowd – the umpires abandoned play for the day shortly after lunch. Worse was to come on the third day when it was decided that conditions still hadn’t improved and so both captains agreed to play a 55-overs per side game on the fourth day.

It turned out to be a low-scoring game with Derbyshire managing to reach 188-9 in 55 overs, Kim Barnett top-scoring with 54 before the Australians reached their target with 14 balls remaining, with Kepler Wessels making their highest score of 64.

The Pakistanis were next to visit Derbyshire, but their 1987 encounter was abandoned without a ball being bowled, and it was 1990 before another touring side appeared in the county for a one-day game.

The visitors this time were the Indians and they took on Derbyshire at Chesterfield in a 55-overs per side game on a glorious July day.

Derbyshire won the toss and elected to bat first, Barnett and Peter Bowler putting on 137 for the first wicket. Derbyshire closed their innings on 235-6 as Barnett made 115 and Bowler 59. The Indian bowling attack included the great Kapil Dev, as well as a future great, Anil Kumble, who bowled with great skill and control, conceding just 26 runs in 11 overs despite not taking a wicket.

It was the Indian batsmen, however, who most impressed on the 1990 tour – Navjot Sidhu, Mohammad Azharrudin – who would grace county grounds around the UK as Derbyshire’s overseas player the following summer – Kapil Dev and Dilip Vengsarkar among them.

It was also the year when Sachin Tendulkar announced his arrival as a 16-year-old on the international stage. Derbyshire’s opening bowlers were Ian Bishop and Ole Mortensen, with Simon Base and Geoff Miller also included in the attack, but Tendulkar, coming in to bat with the score on 5-1, made a stunning, unbeaten 105 to take his side to victory. The most thrilling shot he played was when he was on 99, and facing Ian Bishop, bowling fast from the Pavilion End. Bishop bowled a short delivery, Tendulkar took it on, and hooked the ball cleanly out of the ground for 6. Few observers that day could have imagined the future successes Tendulkar would have, but at least those who did see that century could claim to have seen this truly great batsman in his infancy.

In 1999, the New Zealanders provided the opposition at Derby, although by this time, county sides had begun to play weaker, or experimental sides, preferring to rest senior players. So it was that Derbyshire’s bowling attack was Michael Deane, Ryan Eagleson, Matt Cassar, Ian Blackwell, Simon Lacey and Steve Titchard, and New Zealand took full advantage of their inexperience to amass 369-6 from their 50 overs, Craig McMillan leading the way with 86 and Ian Blackwell taking 3-73 from 10 overs.

Derbyshire never looked like successfully chasing their target, but Adrian Rollins – opening the innings – made a fine unbeaten 111  as Derbyshire closed on 239-8 in their allotted 50 overs.

Five years later the New Zealanders were back at Derby for another 50-over contest, with Derbyshire winning on this occasion.

The New Zealanders were led by Stephen Fleming who impressed with 102 at the top of the order as the tourists made 258-7 from their 50 overs. Scott Styris scored 56 as Mohammad Ali and Ant Botha each took two wickets.

However, Hasan Adnan’s run-a-ball 113, aided by Luke Sutton’s 41 saw Derbyshire reach their target with eight balls and four wickets in hand.

The following year it was the turn of the Bangladeshis to arrive in Derby to play a floodlit 50-over game. The game took place on 10th June and the floodlights were hardly required as the touring side were dismissed for 189 in 46.1 overs, Nick Walker taking 3-24 and Mo Sheikh 2-15, before Derbyshire knocked the required runs off with almost 12 overs in hand, Jon Moss making 72, Steve Stubbings 45 and Luke Sutton an unbeaten 42.

In 2006, Derbyshire made it a trio of successive wins against touring sides as West Indies A were defeated in a high-scoring contest at Derby.

The home side scored 300-6 in 50 overs, with good contributions from Greg Smith (57), Steve Stubbings (56), Gary Ballance (48) and Ant Botha (46*) against a West Indies side which included fast bowler Tino Best.

The West Indies A replied strongly, reaching 152-2 with Runako Morton scoring 95, but Ant Botha, with a fine spell of slow left arm bowling took 5-60 as the tourists subsided to a 30-run defeat.

It was another ten years before a touring side played a limited overs fixture against Derbyshire and this time it was a dynamic Sri Lanka A side which arrived at Derby on a decidedly un-summery and cold, July day.

Rain reduced the game to 43 overs per side and Derbyshire made what was considered a very impressive 281-7 with Ben Slater scoring 124  off 118 balls, while Tom Wood, on his List A debut, made a promising 44.

However, Sri Lanka A were in no mood to allow the conditions to deter their victory chase – reaching 100 in the 11th over and their 284-run target for the loss of just three wickets in the 33rd over, scoring their runs at almost nine runs per over.

Dhananjaya de Silva led the way with 119 off 81 balls, as the tourists secured an easy win.

The final fixture – in 2017 – saw South Africa A visit Derby at the end of May for another game played in awful conditions. South Africa A batted first and in just 20 overs scored 145-1 before the rain arrived leaving the ground sodden and unfit for any further play.

That South Africa A side offered a glimpse of some future Test stars, however, with Markram, Bavuma and Olivier all featuring for the visitors.

Although the above matches are the officially recognised List A games involving touring sides, there have been other matches against international sides played over an assorted number of overs, as follows;

1983 v Zimbabwe 55 overs – Derbyshire won by 100 runs -World Cup Warm-Up

1986 v Scotland 50 overs – Ground Waterlogged – Scotland didn’t travel to the game

1999 v Pakistan 50 overs – No Result – World Cup Warm-Up

1999 v Zimbabwe 50 overs – Derbyshire won by five wickets – World Cup Warm-Up

The following are matches played against international sides in official List A games, but not as part of a tour;

Opponent Number of matches Competition
Ireland One Nat West Trophy
Netherlands Four CB40
Scotland 19 Benson and Hedges Cup (6)

Cheltenham and Gloucester (1)

Friends Provident Trophy (3)

National League (3)

Totesport League (4)

Yorkshire Bank (2)

 

Australia in Derby! A strong Australia A side take on Derbyshire in a 50-over List A match on Sunday 23 June at The Pattonair County Ground. Tickets on sale now. Buy online or call 01332 388 101.

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