Derbyshire begin the 2022 season in optimistic mood under new Head of Cricket, Mickey Arthur, and open their campaign with a visit to the Home of Cricket to face Middlesex at Lord’s.
Heritage Officer David Griffin previews the match and looks at the statistical highlights of the past.
Derbyshire and Middlesex meet for the 102nd time in first-class matches and this return to Lord’s offers the visitors a chance to extract revenge for their 112-run defeat towards the end of last season. This is also the first time Derbyshire have begun their Championship season at Lord’s since 1986.
The counties first met at Lord’s in 1929 and Middlesex have claimed 36 wins to date, with Derbyshire victorious on 24 occasions. There have been 41 drawn matches.
Derbyshire’s highest team total is 557-6 declared at Derby in 2019 when five Derbyshire players made scores of 90 or more, a unique occurrence in the county’s history; Leus du Plooy (118), Billy Godleman (102), Luis Reece (96), Fynn Hudson-Prentice (99) and Anuj Dal (92) were the record-breakers.
Hudson-Prentice is the only player to be dismissed for 99 on his debut for Derbyshire, and later in the game became the fifth player in Derbyshire’s history to take a wicket with his first ball for the club.
Derbyshire’s highest total at Lord’s is a more modest 414 in 2002, although that was sufficient to record a 204-run win, their third-largest margin of victory over Middlesex by runs.
The record margin win of 363 runs came at Derby in 1996 when a title-chasing Derbyshire destroyed the visitors thanks to a hundred in each innings by Chris Adams, a further century from Dean Jones and 12-83 in the match for Andrew Harris. It was as comprehensive a win as ever recorded by the county in first-class matches.
That 1996 result was revenge for the drubbing at the same venue in 1994 when Middlesex scored 545 and won by an innings and 96 runs, Richard Johnson taking 10-45 in Derbyshire’s second innings, the best innings figures ever recorded at Derby.
Twenty two different players have scored a total of 31 hundreds against Middlesex including Wayne Madsen, Reece, Godleman and du Plooy of the current squad, with a highest of 192 not out by Michael Di Venuto in the win at Lord’s in 2002. He followed it up with 113 in the second innings and remains the only Derbyshire player to score two hundreds in a match at Lord’s.
Chris Adams (3) has scored the most hundreds against Middlesex.
With the ball, 25 bowlers have taken five wickets in an innings 51 times, with Les Jackson’s eight instances leading the way. Jackson produced the best innings analysis of 8-44 at The Ind Coope Ground, Burton-on-Trent in 1960 although the best analysis at Lord’s remains Harold Rhodes’ 7-74 in 1961.
The last Derbyshire bowler to take five wickets in an innings was Tony Palladino who bagged 5-39 at Derby in 2011. Liam Wharton’s 6-62 is the last such occurrence at Lord’s, however.
There have been nine instances of Derbyshire bowlers taking ten wickets in a match with Tommy Mitchell and Jackson performing the feat twice apiece with Mitchell’s 13-113 the best, at Derby in 1934. The best effort at Lord’s came in 1956 when Jackson took 12-116.
Derbyshire’s highest partnership for any wicket against Middlesex is 219 – for the first wicket – by Ben Slater and Luis Reece at Derby in 2018.
Eddie Gothard, who took a mere 18 first-class wickets for the county – including Don Bradman in 1948 – took a hat trick against Middlesex at Derby in 1947 and then, somewhat improbably, persuaded the three victims to pose for a photograph with him at the close of play.
87 opposition wickets have fallen to the relatively unusual dismissal of Hit Wicket in Derbyshire’s long history, the most recent of which occurred in 2018 when Lockie Ferguson removed Nick Gubbins in that fashion during the game at Lord’s.
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