Statistical Preview: Gloucestershire (H)

Wednesday 10th May 2023
Photography by: David Griffin

Derbyshire stay at headquarters for their fifth championship game of the season and welcome Gloucestershire to The Incora County Ground for the first time since August 2019.

Heritage Officer David Griffin previews the match.

This will be the 135th scheduled first class game between the two sides which first met at Derby in August 1886, a game which the visitors won by 47 runs. The legendary WG Grace scored just 22 runs across two innings for Gloucestershire but bowled unchanged throughout Derbyshire’s first innings of 55 taking six for 34 off 21.2 overs.

Derbyshire have won 32 of these games, Gloucestershire 50, with 51 matches drawn including one complete abandonment at Bristol in 1980 when heavy rain across the entire country meant that the majority of games saw little play.

These two counties also played out the only first class tie in Derbyshire’s history at Bristol in 1987. Derbyshire batted first and scored 340 with 80 from Kim Barnett and further half centuries by Bruce Roberts, Rajesh ‘Reg’ Sharma and Iain Anderson.

The home side replied with 288, Michael Holding, Roger Finney and Sharma all taking three wickets before Barnett added a sublime 110 in the second innings. When the declaration came, Gloucestershire needed 279 to win in two sessions.

Sharma, in the best form of his career, took six for 80 including two wickets off the last two balls of the game as Gloucestershire were dismissed for 278.

More than two decades later Derbyshire recorded one of the greatest victories in their history in the most remarkable match this writer has ever witnessed. On a green-tinged pitch in late August 2010 Derbyshire were dismissed for 44 in a mere 16.1 overs, James Franklin taking seven for 14 for the hosts.

Before tea on the second day, however, following a multitude of twists and turns and a fine 96 not out from Chesney Hughes, Derbyshire won the game by 54 runs. Graham Wagg with six wickets, and Tim Groenewald and Steffan Jones with five apiece taking the bowling honours.

The first day score of 44 all out is unsurprisingly the lowest first innings total Derbyshire have ever made before going on to win a match.

Derbyshire players have recorded 66 first class hundreds against Gloucestershire including four double centuries. Wayne Madsen has score five – more than any other player – including 204 not out at Bristol in 2019. Madsen holds the record for the highest score on debut for Derbyshire, 170 not out – against Gloucestershire – at Cheltenham in 2009.

The highest score of 229 was made by John Morris, also at Cheltenham, in 1993 when he cut, drove and pulled in expert fashion on a fast pitch against the great West Indian Courtney Walsh who was a handful throughout the game. Dominic Cork also scored his maiden first class hundred and Allan Warner recorded match figures of ten for 120 as Derbyshire secured a seven wicket win, Morris adding a quickfire 71 not out giving him a personal match aggregate of 300 runs, at the time only the second Derbyshire player to reach that milestone, although three more have done it since.

Martin Guptill played one of the most brutal and attacking innings ever seen from a Derbyshire player when he scored 227 at Bristol in 2015. His innings included 29 fours and 11 sixes. No player has scored more sixes in an innings for the county in any format of the game.

His double hundred came from 165 balls, currently the 21st fastest in the history of the game and he went from 150 to 227 in only 29 deliveries. It is doubtful that a more powerful and dynamic long innings has ever been played for Derbyshire.

Adrian Rollins scored the other double hundred, an unbeaten 200 at Bristol in 1995.

In 2001 Chris Bassano scored 186 not out and 106 against Gloucestershire at Derby, the first player in the history of the game to score hundreds in each innings on his championship debut. In a drawn game played in  hot and steamy conditions, the vacant Grandstand Hotel caught fire resulting in a plume of grey smoke floating across the outfield as play continued.

Barnett is the sole player to score a hundred before lunch against Gloucestershire; indeed, he reached three figures at just after 12.30pm on the opening day of the game at Derby in 1988. He dominated proceedings to such an extent that when he was dismissed he’d made 175 out of 250 runs scored while he was in the middle.

The highest partnership against Gloucestershire is the 302 added by Morris and Cork (with help from Matthew Vandrau when Cork retired hurt) for the fifth wicket at Cheltenham in 1993 while more recently Madsen and Alex Hughes have taken part in two double century partnerships at Bristol, 278 for the fourth wicket in 2019 and 233 for the third wicket in 2017.

On 78 occasions Derbyshire bowlers have taken five Gloucestershire wickets in an innings, Tommy Mitchell leading the way having done it eight times. George Davidson, one of Derbyshire earliest and finest all-rounders recorded the best innings figures taking nine for 42 at Derby in 1886 while Les Townsend registered the best match figures of 14 for 90 at Chesterfield in 1933, the seventh best match analysis in the county’s history.

More recently, Luis Reece took seven for 20 in Gloucestershire’s first innings of the game at Derby in 2018.

Only three players have ever scored a hundred or more runs and taken ten or more wickets in a game for Derbyshire, the most recent instance being against Gloucestershire at Derby in 2008 when Graham Wagg scored 29 and 72 and took six for 56 and four for 77.

Vitality Blast returns Saturday 20 May! 

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The Falcons enjoyed a Club-record season the 2022, and they’ll be aiming to go even further this summer, with big-hitting Pakistan batter, Haider Ali, joining the likes of Wayne Madsen, George Scrimshaw and Mark Watt in Mickey Arthur’s side.

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