Derbyshire return to the Incora County Ground this week following two away fixtures to face Leicestershire for the second time this season.
Heritage Officer David Griffin previews the match.
This will be the 220th scheduled first class match between Derbyshire and Leicestershire. Only Lancashire – on 221 occasions – have been Derbyshire’s opposition more often.
Of the first 219 games, honours have been close to even, Derbyshire winning 63 times, Leicestershire 64, with 92 draws, one of which was an abandoned fixture, at Chesterfield in 1926. The recent match at Leicester was drawn as two complete days were ruled out owing to heavy rain and a wet outfield.
The most recent game at Derby, the final match of the 2022 season, saw Derbyshire compile their highest innings total against Leicestershire, scoring 568 for nine with openers Luis Reece (116) and Billy Godleman (158) adding 251 for the first wicket before Wayne Madsen made 92.
Leicestershire had scored 249 all out in their first innings with Sam Conners taking five for 51 but despite a 300-plus run lead, Leicestershire held out to secure a draw with new England international Rehan Ahmed making his maiden first class hundred for the visitors in their second innings.
Derbyshire’s cricketers have enjoyed playing Leicestershire since they first met at Leicester in 1894 scoring 109 centuries, some thirty more than they have scored against any other opposition (Nottinghamshire 79).
Six of the hundreds were doubles, the most recent scored by Shan Masood at Leicester in April 2022, while the highest remains Kim Barnett’s unbeaten 239 at Leicester in 1988. Barnett also scored an unbeaten 200 at Derby in 1996 although it’s hard to believe that any of the 109 tons were better than Mohammad Azharuddin’s 212 at Leicester in 1991 when Barnett, a fast-scoring player in his own right, made just eight runs while Azharuddin scored 100 runs at the other end.
Barnett’s seven first class hundreds against Leicestershire are a record for Derbyshire against any other county, and just to confirm his dominance over them, he also scored a hundred before lunch at Leicester in 1997.
The win at Leicester in 2022 was the first under Mickey Arthur and Derbyshire’s first by an innings since they beat the same opponents at Derby in 2011.
There have been four hundreds by Derbyshire wicketkeepers in these fixtures, Bill Storer making 142 at Leicester in 1896 and an unbeaten 216 at Chesterfield in 1899.
The other hundreds came from Bernie Maher (121*) at Derby in 1988 and Brooke Guest (116) at Derby in 2021.
Guest’s hundred came in partnership with Anuj Dal (106) adding 227 for the sixth wicket, a county record for that wicket.
The highest partnership stands at 316 for the third wicket between Adrian Rollins and Barnett at Leicester in 1997 although the highest at Derby is the 251 in 2022 by Reece and Godleman.
Derbyshire bowlers have recorded five wickets in an innings 143 times. Bill Bestwick performing the feat 18 times, although the best innings figures remain the remarkable ten for 64 by Tommy Mitchell at Leicester in 1935. Only Bill Bestwick’s ten for 40 against Glamorgan at Cardiff in 1921 can better Mitchell’s effort.
The best match figures are Les Jackson’s 13 for 73 at Derby in 1962.
Three bowlers have performed the hat trick in these matches, Ole Mortensen taking the first, at Derby in 1987 before Kevin Dean grabbed three in three at Leicester in 2000, with Tony Palladino completing the trio, also at Leicester, in 2012.
Only four bowlers have taken eight wickets before lunch for Derbyshire, George Walker taking eight for 23 at Leicester in 1895 becoming the first to do it.
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Buy tickets for any of the six Falcons Vitality Blast fixtures in Derbyshire before Thursday 4 May to be in with a chance of winning a signed shirt and bat.
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Derbyshire Members & Blast Pass holders will be entered into their own draw.