Tough opening day for Derbyshire

Sunday 11th June 2023
Photography by: David Griffin, written by ECB Reporters Network

Derbyshire made a difficult start to the LV= County Championship fixture against Yorkshire at Queen’s Park. 

Matthew Fisher, who played a Test Match in the Caribbean 15 months ago and could come into Ashes reckoning if England’s fast bowlers pick up injuries, returned career-best figures of 5 for 30 to skittle Derbyshire for 111.

Ben Coad took 3 for 28 after Derbyshire had been put in and only some resistance from the lower order spared the home side complete humiliation after they had slumped to 26 for 6.

Yorkshire skipper Shan Masood heaped further misery on his former county with 67, his highest score of the season, and Dawid Malan made an unbeaten 76 before rain ended play early with the visitors 272 for 5, 161 ahead.

Masood’s decision to bowl first on a green tinged pitch was immediately justified by Fisher and Coad who were relentless in their line of attack.

The pair gave Derbyshire no respite as they probed away around off stump to blow away the top order in the space of nine overs.

Haider Ali was trapped in front as he moved across to work Coad through midwicket before Brooke Guest was tempted into driving at Fisher and was caught behind.

Yorkshire got the big wicket of Wayne Madsen in the fifth over when Coad found some late movement to clip the off stump and Fisher got one to lift at Harry Came to reduce the home side to 15 for 4.

Fisher struck again in his next over when Matt Lamb edged to second slip where Lyth juggled the ball before George Hill completed the catch and when Luis Reece played around a full length ball from Coad, the innings was in ruins.

Yorkshire made their first mistake when Jonathan Tattersall dropped Alex Thomson on two diving in front of first slip and that allowed Derbyshire to pass 50 before the next wicket fell.

Jordan Thompson appeared to injure an ankle bowling his first ball but hobbled back to his mark and in the same over, pinned Leus du Plooy lbw for 28.

Thompson then held a sharp return catch when Thomson got a leading edge and the score was still under three figures when Mark Watt was caught behind pushing at Fisher.

Ben Aitchison and Suranga Lakmal at least took the score past 100 but when Fisher bowled Aitchison, Derbyshire had been dismissed in less than 32 overs.

Although the pitch was two-paced, it was a poor batting display and Yorkshire quickly put the surface into perspective to take a firm grip on the game.

Adam Lyth and Finlay Bean put on 61 in 11 overs before Bean was well caught at first slip cutting Reece and Lyth looked set for a big score until he edged a drive at Aitchison.

Masood showed the timing and placement that brought him back-to-back double hundreds last season as he stroked three consecutive fours off Aitchison.

Malan drove Lakmal for successive boundaries before Masood straight drove Thomson for his eighth four to reach 50 off 46 balls.

At tea, Yorkshire were already 72 in front with Masood well set on 57 but Watt removed him in a fine spell of left-arm spin from the Lake End.

Masood for once failed to get to the pitch and drove back a return catch before Hill tried to disrupt Watt’s rhythm and was well caught by Ali running back at long off.

Derbyshire captain Leus du Plooy said: “It was very disappointing and we were pretty much outplayed all day.

“They’ve relaid the square so we expected it to do a little bit more but there were a few poor shots in that first hour which set us on the back foot.

“It’s an old saying that if you control  the run rate you control the game and we did that after tea, if we had shown that before tea we would be in a much better position.

“Now we’ve got to scrap from behind and try and match what they’ve done in the first innings. We are under pressure that’s pretty obvious but there’s still a lot of cricket to go and if we post a massive score in the second innings I think our spinners are in the game in the fourth innings.”

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Malan and Tattersall took the visitors to a batting point before the latter was caught and bowled off a leading edge by Reece but when rain arrived shortly after 6pm, Yorkshire were already in a strong position.

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