Derbyshire begin the Royal London Cup with an away game against Leicestershire, their first match in the 50-over format since 2019. Heritage Officer David Griffin previews the match and looks at the statistical highlights of the past.
This game will be Derbyshire’s 1,009th in List A cricket, a format which has encompassed 65, 60, 55, 50, 45 and 40 over cricket since 1963, and which is now seemingly settled on a worldwide basis at 50 overs per side.
Derbyshire first encountered Leicestershire in a 40-over match at Leicester when the home side won by six runs in the fledgling Player’s County League in 1969 (The John Player League would become the name of the competition from 1970).
Echoing the majority of limited overs scores of the day, and ones which would prevail for a further decade, Leicestershire made 161-9 off their 40 overs before Derbyshire replied with 155-7. Four runs per over was considered a good run rate; in fact, during that 1969 season, in the 12 matches in which Derbyshire faced a full allocation of 40 overs, their average innings total was 151. By way of contrast, Derbyshire’s average T20 innings total is 148.
The sides have met in 60 scheduled List A matches of which one was abandoned without a ball being bowled and four also succumbed to the weather with a ‘No Result’ outcome; meanwhile, Derbyshire have won 27 matches and Leicestershire 28.
Despite winning only seven of their first 24 clashes, Derbyshire put together a splendid winning run of eight matches between 1987 and 1992 and have also won five of their last seven fixtures with just one defeat and a No Result.
Derbyshire’s highest innings total of 298-7 (60 overs) came in a dramatic NatWest Trophy semi-final at Leicester in 1998 which they won by just three runs, although their highest 50 overs total of 278 all out at Leicester in 1996 saw them slip to a four-run defeat.
Leicestershire’s highest innings total of 312-8 at Leicester in 2019 turned out to be insufficient as Derbyshire scored 266 in only 39 overs, winning under the Duckworth Lewis ruling.
These matches have generally been played at the headquarters grounds of Derby and Leicester, but Burton-on-Trent, Chesterfield, Knypersley and Long Eaton have also hosted.
Derbyshire batsmen have scored five hundreds against Leicestershire; Dean Jones, Michael Di Venuto, Chris Rogers, Wayne Madsen, and Billy Godleman all making one apiece.
There have been 13 century partnerships, none higher than the 133 runs added by Ant Botha and James Pipe for the sixth wicket at Leicester in 2007, while the most recent came in 2019 when Godleman and Leus du Plooy put on 125 for the 3rd wicket, also at Leicester. Kim Barnett (five) featured in the most century partnerships for Derbyshire.
Three bowlers have taken five wickets in an innings; Ian Buxton (5-19) at Leicester in 1972, Kevin Dean (5-45) at Derby in 2005 and Mark Footitt (5-59) at Leicester in 2014.
Iain Anderson, Barnett, and Colin Wells are the only outfielders to take three catches in a List A match against Leicestershire.
Watch Derbyshire in the Royal London Cup!
50-over cricket returns to Derbyshire this month, with tickets on sale now for all home games, including the local derby against Nottinghamshire at The Incora County Ground and the fixture against Yorkshire Vikings at Queen’s Park, Chesterfield.