Derbyshire begin their County Championship campaign with a home fixture at The Incora County Ground beginning on 6th April when Worcestershire are the visitors.
Heritage Officer David Griffin previews the match.
There have been 151 scheduled games between these two counties who first met at Derby in July 1899 when the game was drawn. Draws have been the most frequent outcome – 55 games have ended that way plus two complete abandonments, while Derbyshire have prevailed on 49 occasions and Worcestershire 45.
The most recent game between the sides ended in a splendid 98-run victory for Derbyshire at New Road last July when Anuj Dal had the game of his life in scoring 112 not out, 55, and taking one for 35 and five for 40.
He became just the 14th cricketer to perform the feat of scoring a hundred and taking five wickets in an innings in a first-class match for Derbyshire. No Derbyshire player had performed the feat against Worcestershire in the course of 122 years, and then two players did it in consecutive seasons as just 15 months earlier Matthew Critchley had scored 109 and 84 and taken five for 67 and three for 76 against the same opponents at Derby.
Dal had also scored a century in the corresponding game at Derby in 2022, in the process becoming only the fourth Derbyshire player to score home and away first class hundreds against Worcestershire in the same season, following in the footsteps of Denis Smith (1939), Chris Adams (1992) and Wayne Madsen (2016).
Derbyshire’s last two victories have been away from home – at Worcester in 2022 and at Kidderminster in 2019 – with the last home win coming at Derby in 2014 when Wes Durston’s five wickets for just 19 runs on the final day secured a 138 run win after Billy Godleman (55 and 52) and Madsen (56 and 98) plus fifties from Ben Slater and Alex Hughes gave Derbyshire plenty of runs to bowl at.
Mark Footitt took six for 115 in Worcestershire’s first innings, the fourth of his six five wicket hauls that summer.
There have been 50 individual hundreds scored against Worcestershire, Chris Adams, Kim Barnett, Madsen and John Wright all sharing top position with three apiece while Godleman’s 204 at Derby in 2016 is the highest.
Stan Worthington is the other double centurion, scoring an unbeaten 200 at Chesterfield in 1933.
James Pipe and Harvey Hosein are the wicketkeepers to register hundreds against Worcestershire with Pipe’s magnificent 71-ball effort against his former county in 2008 being one of the more memorable innings seen at Chesterfield in recent decades.
Derbyshire were 123 for five when he walked out to bat, replying to Worcestershire’s 151. When he was out for 133 from 121 balls Derbyshire had scored 356 and an innings win was completed early on the third (of four) day.
Only one hundred has been scored before lunch against Worcestershire, Walter Sugg scoring 102 runs in the first session on the third day of the game at Derby in 1899.
In 1992, Chris Adams made what remains Derbyshire fastest first class hundred, off just 61 balls, against Worcestershire at Worcester.
In contrived circumstances Adams scored 140 not out in 72 minutes off 72 balls, his last 39 runs coming off just 11 deliveries. He scored 24 off one D’Oliveira over and 18 off another, and 24 and 10 off successive overs from Moody.
The record partnership for Derbyshire against Worcestershire stands at 283 for the first wicket between John Wright and Barry Wood at Chesterfield in 1981, while the highest at Derby came in 2016 when Godleman and Madsen added 251 for the third wicket.
Derbyshire bowlers have taken five Worcestershire wickets in an innings 89 times with leg-spinning great Tommy Mitchell performing the feat 10 times, although it was another great, opening bowler Cliff Gladwin who recorded the best innings figures of nine for 41 at Amblecote in 1952, completing the best match figures of 16 for 84 in the same game.
On the subject of great bowlers, two of Derbyshire’s 33 first class hat tricks have come against Worcestershire, Les Jackson taking three wickets in consecutive balls at Kidderminster in 1958 and repeating the feat at Derby in 1960.
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