Aitchison takes six as Derbyshire draw

Sunday 23rd May 2021
Written by Stephen Martin
Photography by: David Griffin. Written by ECB Reporters Network

Ben Aitchison claimed career-best figures as Derbyshire earned maximum bowling points in their LV= County Championship draw against Durham. 

The 21-year-old bowled superbly to take 6-28 from 16 overs but 82 from Ned Eckersley and a composed 39 by Australian Test opener Cameron Bancroft ruled out any late drama at the Incora County Ground.

Bancroft batted for nearly three hours and Eckersley passed 7,000 first-class runs on another cold and blustery day as Durham were bowled out for 208.

Matt Critchley captured his 100th first-class wicket but the game was always heading for a draw once Durham reached the 108 needed to avoid following-on.

Aitchison’s spell briefly raised Derbyshire’s hopes of enforcing it but Bancroft’s discipline ensured Durham were spared any embarrassment.

Derbyshire’s bowling in a truncated morning session matched Bancroft’s application to the extent that only 31 runs came from 14 overs.

Aitchison’s line demanded respect and after Scott Borthwick survived an edge which did not quite carry to second slip off the fourth ball of the day, the Durham skipper fell victim to the seamer’s relentless accuracy.

Borthwick was defeated by just enough movement to take the outside edge and Brooke Guest, keeping wicket in place of the concussed Harvey Hosein, plunged forward to take a good low catch.

Three balls later, David Bedingham, who made a double hundred against Derbyshire last month, was walking back without scoring after a leading edge was well taken by Anuj Dal running in from point.

Bancroft and Jack Burnham battled through to lunch but in the second over after the interval, Burnham chased a wide ball from Sam Conners and was caught behind with Durham still 51 away from the follow-on.

That was comfortably saved before Bancroft was lbw pushing forward at Critchley and after Eckersley took four fours from an Alex Hughes over to reach 50, Stuart Poynter gloved a sweep and was caught at slip.

Aitchison completed his first five wicket haul when Eckersley played across the line and Mark Wood was caught at deep mid-wicket to give him the best figures for Derbyshire against Durham.

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