Bowlers toil on testing Day One

Tuesday 19th July 2022
& News
Photography by: David Griffin, written by ECB Reporters Network

A brilliant double century from Ben Duckett and a career-best hundred by Haseeb Hameed put Nottinghamshire in a dominant position on the opening day of the LV=Insurance County Championship match against Derbyshire at Derby.

Duckett made 237 not out from 263 balls and Hameed an unbeaten 165 as the pair shared a stand of 393, the highest ever for the second wicket by any county against Derbyshire, breaking a record which had stood for 122 years.

It was also the best by Nottinghamshire for any wicket against Derbyshire, beating the 372 between Kevin Pietersen and John Morris at Derby in 2001. 

In temperatures approaching 40C, Derbyshire’s attack wilted in the punishing heat as the Division Two leaders closed on 439 for 1. 

Given the sweltering conditions, it was no surprise Nottinghamshire batted after winning the toss even though there was some grass on the pitch.

The bowlers got early assistance from the surface and both Hameed and former Derbyshire batter Ben Slater enjoyed moments of good fortune against the new ball.

Both Ben Aitchison and Sam Conners went past the outside edge several times although there was little margin for error once batting became easier.

Hameed’s placement was impressive, the ball racing away to the ropes across the parched outfield, and it needed a fine delivery from Anuj Dal to break the stand.

The all-rounder got a ball to lift at Slater who was caught behind for 12 but that was Derbyshire’s last success on what must for them have felt like the longest day.

There was no lack of commitment  although inevitably the bowlers flagged in the heat but what chances they made were not taken.

Duckett was dropped at first slip by Aitchison off Conners on 24 shortly before Hameed eased Luis Reece through the covers for his 11th four to reach 50.

By lunch, the foundations were firmly in place for Nottinghamshire to take control of the game which Hameed and Duckett did in the afternoon.

Hameed was reprieved on 74 when he pulled Conners to deep square leg where Harry Came misjudged the flight of the ball which dropped over his head and went for four.

Derbyshire gave Duckett a second life when he edged a cut at Reece on 71 but Wayne Madsen at slip could only parry a sharp head-high chance.

Duckett drove and swept his way to a century which came when he clipped a full toss from leg-spinner Mattie McKiernan to the midwicket boundary for his 18th four.

Hameed completed his in the next over and by tea was two runs away from his previous highest first-class score of 122, made against Nottinghamshire for Lancashire at Trent Bridge in 2016.

The next milestone passed was Nottinghamshire’s highest second wicket stand against Derbyshire, 265 in 1991 at Derby between Tim Robinson and Paul Pollard who is standing as one of the umpires in this match.

By way of celebration, Hameed stepped out to imperiously on-drive McKiernan for another four and the boundaries kept on flowing with Duckett accelerating towards a double hundred.

A reverse-sweep off McKiernan took him to 199 before he swept a single to reach 200 which included 30 fours and came from 224 balls.

Hameed drove McKiernan for six and when Duckett straight drove Aitchison to the boundary,it eclipsed the previous highest second wicket stand against Derbyshire of 344 by JHG Devey and S Kinneir for Warwickshire at Edgbaston in 1900.

Derbyshire belatedly claimed the second new ball but a weary attack could not break through on a day that belonged to Hameed and Duckett.

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