This year marks the 30th anniversary of Derbyshire’s Benson and Hedges Cup win over Lancashire at Lord’s.
To commemorate Derbyshire’s last win in a Lord’s final, Heritage Officer David Griffin is compiling a series of articles for the club website detailing each game in the competition.
This time, after the scores level nail-biting win at Bristol, it’s the first round proper and a match against Middlesex at Derby.
The next game against Middlesex at Derby saw Ian Bishop return to the side and hopes were high that he would complement the already effective unit of Devon Malcolm, Ole Mortensen, Dominic Cork and Allan Warner.
Bishop was a Rolls Royce of a fast bowler with a superb run up to the bowling crease, a high action, and tremendous pace. At his quickest, Bishop was the fastest bowler this writer has seen play for Derbyshire.
Michael Holding and Malcolm of the same generation were close, and Holding was perhaps quicker in his heyday with the West Indies, while Lockie Ferguson in more recent times was distinctly rapid, but Bishop just seemed that little bit quicker than the rest.
Bishop had taken 164 first class wickets for Derbyshire, averaging 19.28 and so when he arrived ready to play against Middlesex, hopes were high for the summer.
Derbyshire had a strong top and middle order, a top class wicketkeeper and an outstanding pace attack. The 1990s had already seen some entertaining cricket which had brought some success – Sunday League winners in 1990, third place in the championship in 1991 and fifth in 1992 – and with Dominic Cork now producing consistent performances with bat and ball, surely further success would come, and Bishop would add that extra slice of class.
Bishop came in for Mortensen in an otherwise unchanged side from the close win at Bristol and Derbyshire batted first after losing the toss, Kim Barnett and Peter Bowler adding 55 for the first wicket, although it was John Morris and Chris Adams who injected some urgency with a partnership of 97 as both reached half centuries.
The innings stalled a little when they fell within 11 runs of each other before Cork, batting at eight, scored a quickfire 23, runs which proved vital in the final analysis.
A total of 253 for eight was both competitive and defendable given the quality of Derbyshire’s attack, although it seemed less so when Middlesex began with a flurry of boundaries, 26 coming from the first two overs.
The openers, Desmond Haynes and Mike Roseberry added an even 100 before Frank Griffith removed the former and then Mark Ramprakash for nought with the next delivery.
A player expected to make way for the returning Bishop had suddenly turned the game, and as Allan Warner bowled a beautiful spell, conceding only 29 runs from 11 overs, Middlesex fell behind the rate.
Malcolm also took two wickets in consecutive balls and with good fielding producing two runouts, Derbyshire got home by 14 runs with Adams receiving the Gold Award for his 58 and excellent fielding.
Bishop, used as first change took 2-37 from 11 overs and bowled quickly if seemingly within himself. It was Bishop’s first game of the season and as he left the field few could have known that it was his last for Derbyshire. A serious back injury meant that he would never play for the county again, and, because of the TCCB regulations then in force, Derbyshire were not allowed to replace him.
Thus, it was that Derbyshire, if they were to produce any silverware in 1993 would have to become the first county to win a major one-day trophy without an overseas player (other than Yorkshire who had a self-imposed ban on overseas players when they won the Gillette Cup in 1969).
Nonetheless, Bishop’s absence offered a further opportunity to Griffith, who, as we shall see, took it with both hands.
When the draw was made on BBC Radio 2 the following day, Derbyshire were handed a quarter final tie against Somerset at Taunton which, as we shall see in the next instalment, was not without controversy and drama.
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