Statistical Review: 2022 season

Monday 10th October 2022
& News

When the dust finally settled on the 2022 cricket season, Derbyshire followers could be satisfied overall with a significant improvement in performances under the new Head of Cricket, Mickey Arthur.

Derbyshire’s Heritage Officer David Griffin takes a look back over a summer of statistical highlights and impressive individual and team performances.

At Mickey Arthur’s first press conference in February, he stated that he had come to Derbyshire to win trophies. And while a trophy wasn’t secured, some impressive performances were delivered which auger well for 2023 and beyond.

The first statistic, and arguably most important of all, is the one which records that Derbyshire won more matches than they lost across all three formats of the game. If that doesn’t sound overly impressive then consider that they haven’t managed this for a generation.

It was that glorious summer of 1996, under the captaincy of Dean Jones and with such luminaries as Kim Barnett, Dominic Cork, Chris Adams, Devon Malcolm, Karl Krikken, Adrian Rollins and Phillip DeFreitas, when Derbyshire finished second in the county championship, that they last won more games than they lost.

Twenty five seasons of losing more than winning made it the norm for Derbyshire followers and reversing that trend has been more than welcome and huge credit must go to Arthur’s influence on a squad which contains players with significant talent.

Fifth place in County Championship division two was two places higher than in 2021, with three wins to one, and only three defeats compared to seven.

The Twenty20 quarter final may not have gone to plan but nine group wins was a club record and in the RL50 competition, three wins and four losses improved on the one win and six defeats of a year earlier.

The T20 knock out game against Somerset was disastrous – a 191-run defeat and a raft of unwanted records is something most will wish to forget; however, qualification for the quarter final meant that Derbyshire were inching their way towards dining at the top table of English cricket. Ten other counties would like to have taken their place.

A hot dry summer and resultant dry pitches certainly played into the hands of delighted top orders around the country in the four-day game with little evidence of traditional green tops in April and May, or a swinging, moving ball.

Indeed, the ball was a major bone of contention with frequent changes, often after less than 30 overs. It was noticeable, however, than when the championship resumed in September, the changes, or requests to change, were fewer, suggesting a fresh batch of balls had been sourced.

Derbyshire’s top and middle order certainly took advantage of the fine conditions, producing some record-breaking performances.

Leading the way was Shan Masood, Arthur’s first overseas signing, who began the summer with a five innings run of 91-62-239-219-60, amassing 671 runs and heading inexorably towards the four figure mark.

He reached 1,000 first class runs in his 12th innings, a remarkable run of batting, and in the process broke the 42 year record of Peter Kirsten who scored his 1,000th run of that season in his 16th innings. Derbyshire followers were able to enjoy another two seasons of Kirsten’s magnificence, but Shan Masood’s departure means the only sighting of him in 2023 will be in opposition as Yorkshire captain.

Nonetheless, his first class batting of average of 82.61 is the highest of any Derbyshire player scoring 1,000 runs in a season, while 555 T20 Blast runs and five half centuries set new club records.

More than the numbers, however, Shan Masood will be remembered on the field for his sublime and stylish strokeplay, and as a player who could unerringly find gaps which opposition captains thought they’d closed, while off the field he was unfailingly polite and a splendid ambassador for Derbyshire.

Wayne Madsen, Derbyshire’s leading player of the 21st century, exceeded even his own usual high standards, scoring more championship runs than any other player in the country.

At the age of 38, his 1,283 runs in the four day game came at a career-best average of 60.61 meaning that he is one of only nine Derbyshire players to average over 60 while scoring 1,000 runs in a season. Few cricketers reach career peaks at Madsen’s age and it was all the more enjoyable for the manner in which he scored his runs, always easy on the eye and with an excellent strike rate in all formats.

He added his maiden T20 hundred – a magnificent innings against Durham at Derby off just 47 balls, the fastest in any format in the club’s history – helping him to a total of 527 runs in the shortest form of the game, and his absence from the RL50 side – he played in The Hundred – robbed him of reaching 2,000 all formats runs for the first time. His final tally of 1,800 was only 67 short of his best season in 2014 when 391 List A runs boosted his tally.

He stands just 504 runs short of 20,000 all formats runs for Derbyshire and played in his 400th game for the county at Headingley in May while for good measure he topped the table for most all formats catches in a season for the eighth time.

Brooke Guest became Derbyshire’s first ever-present wicketkeeper since Luke Sutton in 2011 and delivered on both sides of the wicket. Leading the way with four championship hundreds including two in the game against Glamorgan at Derby, he totalled 1,345 all formats runs including 923 in the championship, in the process securing his role at number three in the batting order.

Factor in 76 dismissals behind the wicket, and for the first time since Sutton’s retirement at the end of 2011, Derbyshire have found a wicketkeeper who can play as a genuine all-rounder.

Anuj Dal began the 2021 season batting at number three, then number seven, then in the second team.

In 2022, he batted at number seven throughout the championship campaign save for twice at number eight and scored 957 runs at an average of 73.61. No Derbyshire player has ever scored 1,000 runs batting as low as number seven throughout the season and few would have begrudged Dal the extra 43 runs during the final game of the summer.

With three hundreds and five fifties plus 34 wickets he was a model of consistency with his signature match coming at Worcester in July when he scored 55 in the first innings, took 1-35 when Worcestershire batted, followed it with 112 not out in the second innings and sealed a fine win with a career-best 5-40.

Ending the season with a career batting average of almost 37 and a bowling average of under 30, plus his peerless fielding, Dal is clearly another genuine all round cricketer.

Leus du Plooy and Luis Reece also scored 1,000 runs in all formats, du Plooy impressing with a hundred in each innings of the game against Durham at Chester-le-Street, while Reece reserved his best for two splendid hundreds in the RL50 competition, at Worcester and Northampton.

Billy Godleman captained Derbyshire for the 148th time in the final game of the summer when he also scored his only hundred of the season. After seven seasons at the helm, only five captains stand ahead of him on captain’s table with Dominic Cork (149 games) in his immediate sights.

Eight players scored hundreds in the championship – equalling the county record – Mattie McKiernan making his first, at Leicester in April, while Godleman’s end of season hundred was his 17th batting at number two in the batting order, a new county record.

Every Derbyshire first innings at Derby in the championship this season saw the total pass 300, a new seasonal record, as was the five innings totals in excess of 500.

Most telling of all the batting statistics, however, was the overall average runs per wicket. In 2021 Derbyshire scored 5,478 runs averaging 23.41; in 2022 the total was 7,870 runs at an average of 37.76.

Unbeaten at home – Derbyshire beat Middlesex at Chesterfield and drew all the matches at Derby – was another record-equalling effort; only in 1953 and 2012 had Derbyshire managed to stay unbeaten on home soil in the championship.

With the bat in the ascendancy it left very few scraps for the bowlers to feed off and so Sam Conners efforts in taking 50 championship wickets and 72 in all should rightly be lauded. Ever-present in the county championship, he missed just one RL50 game and four T20s.

Expecting to share pace duties with the other overseas signing, Test fast bowler Suranga Lakmal, plus the promising Ben Aitchison, Conners was left to spearhead the  attack after Lakmal departed with only five championship games played, while the injured Aitchison missed the first half of the season. Both suffered injuries and while Lakmal is expected to return in 2023, Aitchison managed 20 championship wickets at under 30 and looked to be back to his best as the season progressed.

In white ball cricket, Conners also excelled, taking 22 wickets, although George Scrimshaw was the standout pace bowler in T20 matches, equalling Ravi Rampaul’s county record of 23 wickets in a season.

Mattie McKiernan, despite a mauling in the quarter final at Taunton, took 18; only the aforementioned Scrimshaw and Rampaul have ever taken more in a season for Derbyshire.

In all, 24 players were used in 2022 including ten debutants and although spinners were never really in the ascendancy anywhere in the country, the triumvirate of McKeirnan, Mark Watt and Alex Thomson all produced important spells at various times across all forms of the game.

Alex Hughes made his 100th T20 appearance for Derbyshire, only the second player to reach that mark for the county, while Harry Came impressed at various times across all three formats.

Hayden Kerr, a replacement for Lakmal, took 15 wickets in the Blast and looks a highly promising young cricketer, while bowlers Ryan Sidebottom and Toby Pettman were the most impressive of the loan signings.

Two local cricketers – Tom Wood and Nick Potts appeared fleetingly, Wood returning after a lengthy lay-off to play three RL50 games, and Potts, introduced to the fray earlier than would have been the case had Lakmal and Aitchison been fit, took 12 wickets in five championship games and impressed many observers. Aged just 20, he has plenty of time on his side.

County Caps were awarded on the final day of the season to the departing Shan Masood, and to Sam Conners, Anuj Dal, Leus du Plooy, and Brooke Guest, the highest number of players capped on the same day since capping was introduced by the county in 1946.

Looking towards 2023, the return of a fully fit Lakmal alongside Zak Chappell and Matt Lamb will offer greater options for Mickey Arthur, and it will be interesting to see how he goes about filling the shoes of Shan Masood. With a strong batting line up and useful additions to the bowling attack, Derbyshire supporters will certainly be looking for Arthur and his side to seek further improvement next summer.

Regardless, with the sun now set on the 2022 season, one can look back at a season of great performances, great weather, and great promise.

Leading Run Scorers – All Formats (1,000 run min.)

Shan Masood                       1,832

Wayne Madsen                   1,800

Brooke Guest                       1,345

Leus du Plooy                      1,194

Luis Reece                             1,185

Anuj Dal                                1,108

Leading Wicket Takers – All Formats (50 wickets min.)

Sam Conners                        72

Hundreds – All Formats

Brooke Guest (4)                109 v Glamorgan (1st) at Derby – CC

138 v Glamorgan (2nd) at Derby – CC

116 v Durham at Chester-le-Street – CC

109 v Nottinghamshire at Derby – CC

Wayne Madsen (4)            111 v Sussex at Derby – CC

135* v Glamorgan at Derby – CC

176 v Sussex at Hove – CC

100* v Durham at Derby – T20

Shan Masood (3)                239 v Sussex at Derby – CC

219 v Leicestershire at Leicester – CC

113 v Worcestershire at Derby – CC

Anuj Dal (3)                          114* v Worcestershire at Derby – CC

146* v Sussex at Hove – CC

112* v Worcestershire at Worcester

Luis Reece (3)                      136 v Worcestershire at Worcester – RL50

106 v Northamptonshire at Northampton – RL50

116 v Leicestershire at Derby – CC

Leus du Plooy (2)                122* v Durham (1st) at Chester-le-Street – CC

134 v Durham (2nd) at Chester-le-Street – CC

Mattie McKiernan (1)        101 v Leicestershire at Leicester – CC

Billy Godleman (1)              158 v Leicestershire at Derby – CC

Five Wickets in an Innings – All Formats

Sam Conners (3)                 5-109 v Worcestershire at Derby – CC

5-28 v Yorkshire at Chesterfield – RL50

5-51 v Leicestershire at Derby – CC

Suranga Lakmal (1)            5-82 v Glamorgan at Derby – CC

Anuj Dal (1)                          5-40 v Worcestershire at Worcester – CC

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