As Derbyshire begin the delayed 2020 season with a fixture against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge, Heritage Officer, David Griffin, looks at the statistical background to the game.
There will have been 309 cricket-free days for Derbyshire since their players walked off the field at Lord’s on 26th September to bring the curtain down on the 2019 season. Nobody could have contemplated what followed, and although first-class cricket is about to return shortly, it will only be as part of a very truncated season, and with controls and processes in play which have never previously been required to play a game of professional cricket in the UK.
There have been longer gaps between seasons – two World Wars accounted for ten missing seasons in the twentieth century – and back in the nineteenth century there was a gap of 346 days between the end of the 1872 season and the beginning of the 1873 season. However, only two games were played per season in 1871, 1872 and 1873, and they were staged at the height of summer, hence the large gap.
The competition in 2020 will not reward the winners with the title of Champion County as the 18 counties will be split into the three original T20 six-county groups – Derbyshire are joined by Durham, Lancashire, Leicestershire Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire – and the two counties with the most points across the divisions will compete for the Bob Willis Trophy at the end of the season.
Therefore, though the five four-day games will have first-class status, they will not be classed as County Championship matches, meaning that when Derbyshire meet Nottinghamshire in the opening game at Nottingham it will mean Derbyshire will be playing another county in a first-class match which is not a championship game for the first time since 1961 when, incidentally, they played Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge.
There have been 204 scheduled first-class games between these two local sides of which Derbyshire have won 44 and Nottinghamshire 66.
This match will be 98th first-class game between the two counties at the Nottingham venue with Derbyshire’s first visit to Trent Bridge in 1875 and their most recent in 2017 when the weather ruined a potentially exciting finish on the final day.
The last three games have all been drawn at Trent Bridge, Derbyshire’s most recent win coming in 2002 when nine wickets for Dominic Cork and a half-century in each innings by Chris Bassano saw Derbyshire home by four wickets.
Derbyshire’s highest innings score against Nottinghamshire is 572 at Derby in 2001 – a drawn match which produced an aggregate of 1,655 runs for 25 wickets, the highest match aggregate for any game involving Derbyshire.
They also scored 572 – for 7 – at Derby in 1991 after following-on. Kim Barnett made 217 and Tim O’Gorman 108 not out as the game was drawn.
Their highest total at Trent Bridge is 570 in 1897 when two batsmen scored hundreds – Levi Wright and George Davidson – and two scored 90s – Sydney Evershed and Maynard Ashcroft.
Derbyshire players have scored 35 first-class hundreds at Trent Bridge, Levi Wright scoring the first in that enormous total back in 1897, and Billy Godleman the most recent in 2017.
Pat Vaulkhard scored 264 at Nottingham in 1946 – his first and only hundred for Derbyshire – the third highest individual innings for the county, while Charlie Elliott, Arnold Hamer and Denis Smith also made double-centuries at Trent Bridge. Smith scored three hundreds at Nottingham, more than any other Derbyshire player.
On two occasions Derbyshire batsmen have recorded a hundred before lunch against Nottinghamshire; Dusty Rhodes made 111 not out at Ilkeston in 1949, and John Morris went from 40 not out to 145 not out during the morning session at Derby in 1989.
Just one player has scored a hundred in each innings against Nottinghamshire – Stan Worthington making 103 and 100 not out at Ilkeston in 1938 – while Bill Storer is the only Derbyshire wicketkeeper to register a hundred against Nottinghamshire – 109 at Trent Bridge in 1898. Storer also removed his pads to take 3-45 in Nottinghamshire’s first innings.
Only once have three Derbyshire batsmen scored hundreds in the same match against Nottinghamshire – Chris Adams, Barnett and Dean Jones all reaching three figures in the game at Derby in 1996 which Derbyshire won by 303 runs, their largest margin of victory by runs against the Trent Bridge side.
Derbyshire’s narrowest win by wickets was the one wicket win in the final game of the 1989 season at Derby, when Michael Holding, playing in his last first-class match, hit the winning runs.
Derbyshire’s highest partnership against Nottinghamshire – 349 for the second wicket by Charlie Elliott and John Eggar at Trent Bridge in 1947 – is the second highest for any wicket in the county’s history; one year earlier, Denis Smith and Vaulkhard had added 328 for the fourth wicket on the same ground.
More recently, in 1993, Adams and Peter Bowler put on 275 for the second wicket at Nottingham while the most recent hundred partnership there was the 112 for the third wicket by Billy Godleman and Wayne Madsen in 2017.
In 2004, Mohammad Ali became just the fifth player to score a half-century for Derbyshire batting at number 11 when he reached 50 off only 32 balls with ten fours and a six in a losing cause at Trent Bridge.
Fourteen batsmen have been dismissed in the nineties at Trent Bridge – more than at any other away venue – with Maynard Ashcroft (1897) and Peter Bowler (1991) both out on 99.
Kim Barnett is the only player to carry his bat through a completed innings at Trent Bridge making one of Derbyshire’s greatest centuries – 156* out of 330 in 1992 – in a game Derbyshire won by two wickets with 17 balls to spare.
In 1984 Derbyshire beat Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge by 28 runs after following on – only the third such instance in Derbyshire’s history, and never repeated since.
Nottinghamshire batted first and made 361 all out and Derbyshire’s reply was a very modest 139. Following-on, Barnett scored 90, Miller 86 and Finney 73 before Miller and Dallas Moir – bowling unchanged through the Nottinghamshire second innings, dismissed the hosts for 131 to secure an unlikely 28-run victory.
Derbyshire’s bowlers have had some success at Trent Bridge, none moreso than Bill Mycroft who took ten wickets in a match in 1875 and thirteen in 1878. In his first three games against Nottinghamshire – home and away – Mycroft’s innings analysis were; 5-53, 5-67, 7-55, 5-63, 7-35 and 6-70.
The most recent instance of a Derbyshire bowler taking five wickets in an innings at Nottingham was Cork’s 6-78 in 2002, while from a different generation, another England Test bowler, Arnold Warren took five wickets on eight occasions against Nottinghamshire, although no bowler can match Mycroft’s four five-wicket innings at Trent Bridge.
The best innings analysis came from Arthur Morton who took 9-71 at Blackwell in 1911 with the best at Trent Bridge being Mycroft’s 7-35 in 1878.
Mycroft took ten wickets in a match against Nottinghamshire twice in the 1875 season, although Morton did it most often, with four instances. The best was Arnold Warren’s 15-112 at Welbeck in 1904 while at Trent Bridge the best is Mycroft’s 13-105 in 1878.
Frank Davidson and George Pope both took hat-tricks against Nottinghamshire, at Derby (1898) and Ilkeston (1947) respectively, and just one bowler has taken five wickets in an innings on debut for Derbyshire; Jon Clare at Chesterfield in 2007.
Together, We Are All Derbyshire. Four-day cricket has returned you can follow all five of Derbyshire’s Bob Willis Trophy matches live on our match centre at derbyshireccc.com.