Derbyshire’s nomadic 2020 season saw them play every fixture away from home, meaning three trips to the north-east to face Durham in all forms of the game. Two of the three matches were rain-affected and it’s to be hoped that this first journey to Emirates Riverside in 2021 will offer more encouraging conditions in which to play the third game of the county championship group stages.
Heritage Officer David Griffin previews the match and looks at the statistical highlights of the past.
There have been 29 fixtures between these two counties, the first at Chesterfield in 1992 when rain reduced the game to a one-innings match played on the final day; even that game was rain-interrupted and ended in a rather soggy draw.
The 1993 fixture at Durham’s Racecourse Ground was also drawn, again, as a result of inclement weather.
To date, Derbyshire have won six matches, Durham 13, with ten draws.
Durham’s biggest win – by an innings and 79 runs at Darlington in 2000 was followed seven weeks later by Derbyshire’s biggest win, by 232 runs at Derby in a game which saw Dominic Cork make a magnificent, unbeaten 200, the highest score ever made by a Derbyshire player batting at number eight.
Derbyshire’s batsmen have made 16 hundreds against Durham, Michael Di Venuto leading the way with four, although the current squad have recent good memories with the bat against Durham – Matt Critchley, Alex Hughes and Luis Reece have all made hundreds against them, including Reece’s 122 at Chester-le-Street last August.
Derbyshire’s highest individual score in these games in Mohammad Azharuddin’s outstanding 205 in Derbyshire’s second innings at Chesterfield in 1994, when he struck six sixes in a display of the highest class.
Chris Adams scored a hundred before lunch at Chester-le-Street in 1997, the third time he had achieved the feat, a county record he holds with Kim Barnett, while Di Venuto is the sole Derbyshire batsman to score hundreds against Durham at home and away in the same season, scoring 150 at Chester-le-Street and 143 at Derby in 2003.
The highest partnership for any wicket is Di Venuto’s with Hasan Adnan in 2005 when they added 272 for the third wicket at Derby while the highest partnership for the tenth wicket is 66 by Richard Sladdin and Ole Mortensen at The Racecourse, Durham in 1993. And in 2002 Mohammad Ali registered the highest debut score by a batman batting at number 9 when he made 53 against Durham at Derby.
With the ball, there have been 19 instances of bowlers taking five wickets in an innings, Dominic Cork heading that list with three, and Reece, of the current squad, taking 5-47 at Derby in 2019 when the home side won by 125 runs.
Three bowlers have taken ten wickets in a match against Durham, Kevin Dean (10-105) at Chester-le-Street in 2001, Dominic Cork (10-126) at Derby in 2002 when he also scored 56, and Duanne Olivier (10-125) at Chester-le-Street in 2018; and Imran Tahir is the sole Derbyshire bowler to take five wickets on his debut against Durham, with 5-110 at Chesterfield in 2017.
Derbyshire’s last win at Chester-le-Street came in 2004 when a splendid hundred by Australian Jon Moss was at the heart of a fine 165-run win. There have been some close calls since, none more so than in 2019 when the home side got home by 29 runs in a game which could have gone either way.
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