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 looks back at the successful campaign beginning with the preliminary round fixture which saw them face Gloucestershire at Bristol.
Conditions were awful for that preliminary round game on 27th April as spectators sat huddled under umbrellas with light rain falling for much of the day in temperatures which struggled to get into double figures.
The start was delayed with Gloucestershire naming Chris Broad and Kevin Cooper in their side, both having moved from Nottinghamshire over the course of the winter.
Broad, of course, had started his career in the West Country and enjoyed a very successful nine year stint at Trent Bridge.
Derbyshire’s side consisted of the 11 players who would play in the final at Lord’s, although at the time there was every expectation that if they could get through this game, Ian Bishop would be back, probably at the expense of Frank Griffith, in the next round.
When play did get underway the hosts batted first with Chris Broad making a well-paced fifty. However, from 113-1 Gloucestershire subsided to 198-7 in 55 overs with wickets shared between Devon Malcolm, Dominic Cork, Ole Mortensen and Frank Griffith.
Richard Scott made a pleasant 44 and Mark Alleyne, later to become such a formidable and successful captain, scored 30, but Derbyshire expected to be able to surpass their relatively modest target with plenty to spare.
Kim Barnett and Peter Bowler, not for the first time, put on a century opening stand before Barnett departed for 40 with the score on 101. In one day matches this pair produced 16 century partnerships for the first wicket, easily a county best, which confirms their status as statistically the finest opening pair ever to play for the county.
As the conditions worsened, John Morris and Chris Adams both fell for a single before Tim O’Gorman and Bowler came together, adding 53 and taking the score to 170 before Bowler was run out for a fine 92.
However, the scoring rate had been strangled by Cooper who took one for 20 in 11 overs while Martyn Ball conceded only 32 runs from his 11 overs, and when O’Gorman was also run out with the score on 186 13 runs were still needed from 12 balls with Karl Krikken and Griffith at the crease.
Derbyshire supporters, aware of their specialist ability at winning games having lost fewer wickets with the scores level, knew that 12 runs would suffice. So, when Krikken levelled the scores off the final ball of the game, Derbyshire triumphed having lost five wickets to Gloucestershire’s seven.
The rain began again as the players left the field, with Bowler collecting the Gold Award in front of the pavilion as the heavens opened.
In the next article in the series, the focus is on Derbyshire’s first round tie against Middlesex at Derby when the conditions would be much kinder, and Ian Bishop would be available to take his place in their ranks.
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