Statistical Preview: Gloucestershire

Saturday 17th August 2019
& News
Written by Stephen Martin

Derbyshire resume red-ball cricket with a Division Two Specsavers County Championship game against Gloucestershire at The Pattonair County Ground, Derby against Gloucestershire starting on Sunday 18 August.

Heritage Officer and Statistician, David Griffin, looks at the statistical background to the game.

Derbyshire and Gloucestershire have played each other on 132 occasions in first class cricket, with an additional game abandoned at Bristol in 1980, and to date, Derbyshire have won 32 games, Gloucestershire 49, with 50 draws and one game tied – the only one in Derbyshire’s history.

The most recent encounter was the drawn game at Bristol in April when Wayne Madsen (204 not out) and Alex Hughes (109 not out) added 278 for the fourth wicket, the second-highest partnership for Derbyshire against Gloucestershire and the 19th highest for the county for any wicket in first class cricket.

The tied game at Bristol in 1987 featured a fine all-round performance from Rajesh ‘Reg’ Sharma, who scored 55 in his only innings, and took 3-63 and 6-80 with his off-spin, cleaning up the tail of David Lawrence and Courtney Walsh while ‘Jack’ Russell stood and watched from the other end as the game ended in such a rare finale.

The two counties first met in August 1886 at Derby when the visitors won a low-scoring match by 47 runs. WG Grace captained Gloucestershire, and was dismissed in both innings by George Davidson, Derbyshire’s premier all-rounder of the age, for 20 and two. Grace, however, bowled unchanged in Derbyshire’s first innings of 55 all out, taking 6-34 from 12 four-ball overs, adding a further wicket in the second innings.

Derbyshire’s highest innings score in these games is 545-9 at Bristol in 2015, a game Derbyshire won, and in which Martin Guptill scored 227 off 165 balls, including a Derbyshire record 11 sixes. It is the fastest double century ever scored for Derbyshire, and only 18 have been scored from fewer balls in the history of the first class game.

Derbyshire also scored over 500 in an innings at Cheltenham in 1993, thanks to a brutal 229 off 228 balls by John Morris, and a maiden first-class century by Dominic Cork. Allan Warner’s ten wickets in the match added to Derbyshire’s superiority as they triumphed by seven wickets. Morris and Cork added 302 runs for the fifth wicket in Derbyshire’s first innings, only the ninth partnership over 300 in the club’s history, and Derbyshire’s highest for any wicket against Gloucestershire.

The drawn game in 2001 at Derby saw a festival of runs, the match aggregate of 1,466 runs sitting in ninth position on Derbyshire’s all-time list. Mark Alleyne and Jeremy Snape scored hundreds for the visitors, as did Steve Stubbings for Derbyshire, but the game was most notable for a feat of batsmanship by Chris Bassano for Derbyshire…and a fire at the ground.

Bassano scored a hundred in each innings on his county championship debut, a feat never previously performed by any player, making 186 not out and 106.

The fire – which occurred while play was in progress but didn’t halt the match – started in the rear of the former Grandstand Hotel, in what was a disused carpet warehouse and necessitated the appearance of several fire appliances. The surreal sight of smoke wafting across the ground, and fireman at the top of ladders hosing the fire as Bassano and Stubbings batted serenely towards the close on day two, was a sight rarely seen at a cricket ground and surely not forgotten by those present.

Wicketkeeper/batsman, turned artist, Jack Russell, subsequently painted an image of the ground with the fire in progress – a game he played in.

Travis Birt took a liking to Gloucestershire during his tenure as an overseas player in 2006 and 2007, playing 4 games against Gloucestershire, batting six times and scoring 614 runs at an average of 102.33, including three hundreds and one fifty, and in the 2007 fixture at Bristol, scoring 302 runs in the match (140 and 162), the fourth-highest number of runs scored by a Derbyshire player in one first class match.

Four Derbyshire players have scored double centuries in these games, the aforementioned Morris (229), Guptill (227), Madsen (204*) and Adrian Rollins, who scored 200 not out at Bristol in 1995. The highest score at Derby is Bassano’s 186.

Gloucestershire batsmen have recorded four double centuries against Derbyshire, with Wally Hammond’s 237 at Bristol in 1938 and Shaun Young’s 237 at Cheltenham in 1997, being the highest.

Thirty-nine different players have scored 65 hundreds for Derbyshire against Gloucestershire, with Madsen leading the way on five, while three of Alex Hughes’ six first-class hundreds have been scored against Gloucestershire.

Derbyshire have scored more than 300 runs in the fourth innings against Gloucestershire on three occasions; 319-5 in the drawn game at Bristol in 2002, 303-9 in another draw at Derby in 1992, and 302 all out in the defeat at Bristol in 1921.

Kim Barnett is the only Derbyshire player to score a hundred before lunch against Gloucestershire, making 114 not out in the opening session of the game at Derby in 1988. Such was Barnett’s dominance in that innings, that when dismissed for 175, the team score was only 250.

Six bowlers have taken ten wickets in a match, with Les Townsend’s 14-90 at Chesterfield in 1933 being the best, and Graham Wagg’s 10-133 at Derby in 2008 being the most recent. Wagg also scored a century in that game – 101 – just the 3rd instance in the club’s history of a Derbyshire player scoring a hundred and taking ten wickets in a match.

The best innings analysis achieved for Derbyshire is George Davidson’s 9-42 at Derby in 1886, when he dismissed Grace cheaply in each innings, while Cliff Gladwin recorded remarkable innings and match figures of 7-16 and 11-46 in Derbyshire’s win at Derby in 1955.

In the 21st century, there have been ten instances of a Derbyshire player taking five wickets in an innings, with Wagg and Tony Palladino performing the feat twice each, the best being Wagg’s 6-56 at Derby in 2008.

Vitality Blast is back! Derbyshire host Northants Steelbacks in their final group game on Friday 23 August. Buy in advance to save. Call 01332 388 101 or buy online.


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