Derbyshire secured their first win of the season, capping off a good performance with an emphatic innings victory over Leicestershire.
Leicestershire were 172 behind overnight with only four second-innings wickets in hand after trailing by a daunting 318 on first innings, but were in familiar territory after mounting last-day rearguards to save a draw in their opening two matches and fought doggedly again, even with the odds heavily against them.
Louis Kimber made 54 and Callum Parkinson 49 as Leicestershire kept Derbyshire waiting until mid-afternoon before they were all out for 250, finishing 68 short of requiring their opponents to bat again. Off-spinner Alex Thomson was the pick of the bowlers, taking three for 50 from 39 overs
Derbyshire also drew their first two fixtures of the new season but after Pakistan international Shan Masood’s second consecutive double century and a maiden first-class hundred by Mattie McKiernan had given them such a handsome advantage at the halfway stage they would have seen this as a wasted opportunity had they failed to win.
Kimber picked up six boundaries and passed fifty for the fourth time in only his eighth first-class match and Parkinson battled for more than two hours but these were only a few positives that Leicestershire can take forward from a disappointing four days.
Ed Barnes, whose maiden five-wicket haul at the end of the Derbyshire innings was another, stayed with Kimber for the first hour of the final day, but fell four overs after the second new ball was taken, Lakmal having him caught behind off an inside edge on to pad.
Kimber, who had played some attractive shots departed in Lakmal’s next over, leg before playing back, before Parkinson and Beuran Hendicks began a ninth-wicket partnership that would span 27 overs.
Parkinson found the boundary three times, flicking Lakmal off his legs and twice driving Thomson, as he and the South African pace bowler negotiated the 12 overs to lunch at 210 for eight.
They further survived for the best part of an hour after the interval and had cut the deficit by 57 runs to 80 before Hendricks, having survived the chance of a stumping off Thomson 11, was caught behind off McKiernan’s leg spin for 15.
Parkinson moved to within a single of a half-century of his own but when Derbyshire skipper Billy Godleman called on Anuj Dal to bowl for the first time on the day the medium pacer had the Leicestershire vice-captain leg before with his first ball to complete the win.
It is only the second time in 58 years that Derbyshire have beaten their East Midlands rivals by an innings and the first time at Grace Road, as the Uptonsteel County Ground is traditionally known, since 1896.
Indeed, the win over Leicestershire by an innings and 32 runs at Derby in 2011 was Derbyshire’s last innings victory over any opponent.
2022 Membership – One Club, Our County
2022 Membership is on sale now, with supporters able to attend a full season of Derbyshire home cricket for the first time since 2019, along with a host of other great benefits for!