Dal and du Plooy go big as Derbyshire target victory

Tuesday 27th June 2023
Photography by: David Griffin, written by ECB Reporters Network

Captain Leus du Plooy struck his maiden double century as Derbyshire took control of a record-breaking day against Worcestershire in the LV=Insurance County Championship encounter at New Road.

Du Plooy and Anuj Dal came together at 320-5 and put on an unbroken 258, the Peakites record stand for the sixth wicket against any opposition in first class cricket.

Derbyshire’s mammoth total of 578-5 declared was their highest against Worcestershire and earned them a first innings lead of 341.

Dal also emulated his achievement of in the corresponding game last summer of scoring a century and taking five wickets in an innings.

Du Plooy was unbeaten on 238 and his marathon knock spanned nine hours and contained two sixes and 25 fours.

Dal ended on 141 not out from 193 deliveries with five sixes and 13 fours when the declaration came mid-way through the afternoon session.

Worcestershire were left to reflect on a below-par bowing performance, with only Joe Leach emerging with much credit, and a slipshod fielding display.

Derbyshire will have aspirations of chasing a first Championship victory in 10 games stretching back to when they recovered from 14-5 on the opening morning to defeat Worcestershire at New Road last summer.

Their bowlers then made early inroads with Jake Libby and Azhar Ali falling cheaply as Worcestershire reached 70 for two before bad light ended play with 16 overs remaining.

Derbyshire resumed on 374-5 and Dal survived a chance to Josh Baker at second slip off Leach before he had added to his overnight 20.

Du Plooy went past his previous first class best of 186 for South Western Districts versus Northern Cape at Kimberley in February 2022 when he cut Navdeep Saini for four.

The 28-year-old is certainly in prime form after over-taking his Derbyshire best of 170 against Yorkshire at Chesterfield earlier this month.

He went onto become the first Derbyshire player to score a double hundred at New Road and a late cut for four off Saini took Dal to three figures.

Worcestershire were powerless to halt the onslaught before du Plooy called a halt to the Derbyshire first innings and then his bowlers went to work.

Stand-in captain Libby went for a pull to the first delivery from Luis Reece and keeper Brooke Guest ran around to deep backward square to hold onto a skier.

Azhar Ali survived 33 deliveries for just three runs before he tried to work Nick Potts to leg and was lbw.

There was just time for debutant Rehaan Edavalath to get off the mark – after his first innings duck – before the light closed in with Gareth Roderick unbeaten on 38.

Derbyshire double century-maker Leus du Plooy said: “Those opportunities to get two hundred don’t come too often, especially batting at number five.

“It has taken me eight years of first class cricket to get there and I was extremely elated.

“I wanted to declare about three overs before that but then Anuj hit a few bombs (sixes) and that ultimately wins you a lot of time late in the game.

“Hopefully it is the right decision tomorrow and we get a full day of cricket in.

“It would have been nice to have had another 30 overs at them today but we can’t control the weather and we’ve got bowlers who are relatively fresh for tomorrow.

“I expect them to get those eight remaining wickets.

“We are without Ben (Aitchison) but we have Luis (Reece) who has done an excellent job for us so far this innings and he will be taking the responsibility of those overs.”

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