Derbyshire claim seven wickets on Day One

Monday 10th July 2023
Photography by: David Griffin, written by ECB Reporters Network

Derbyshire’s bowlers combined for seven wickets on a tough Day One of the LV= County Championship game against Sussex. 

Tom Clark top-scored with 96 and three of his team-mates also made half-centuries as Sussex started the game strongly at Hove.

Having put Sussex in, Derbyshire squandered any advantage offered by a pitch with a covering of live grass during a careless first session at the 1st Central County Ground when they conceded 150 runs without parting openers Tom Clark and Tom Haines.

Haines fell for 86 to the first ball after lunch and Clark went on to a season’s best before both Ollie Carter and Fynn Hudson-Prentice passed fifty for the fifth time this season after tea as Sussex closed on 376 for seven.

Sussex have yet to lose this season but badly need a second win to strengthen their hopes of promotion in the LV= Insurance County Championship and would have been pleased with their day’s work, although Clark nor Haines will be disappointed not to have got to three figures.

Despite its green tinge the surface is dry and few balls misbehaved all day. Off-spinner Alex Thomson picked up three wickets for the first time in a year after being called into the attack as early as the 17th over, but the Derbyshire seamers found little help from either the surface or the Kookaburra ball being used for the second time this summer.

Skipper Leus du Plooy employed six bowlers in the morning session without reward as Sussex’s two left-handers made serene progress at more than five runs an over. Haines was the more aggressive, hitting 15 fours, and it was a surprise when he pushed forward to the first ball after lunch as Thomson found a modicum of turn and edged to slip.

It was the start of a productive afternoon for Derbyshire who bowled with more discipline, although they were helped by some questionable shot selection by Sussex’s batters.

Skipper Tom Alsop drove loosely at Suranga Lakmal and was caught at slip and James Coles, who’d just hit Thomson for a straight six, tried a repeat and instead holed out to long on.

Clark and Carter added 55 for the fourth wicket with few alarms and Clark was on course for his first hundred of the season when he tried to drive Thomson down the ground and picked out Du Plooy, who took a comfortable catch at long off. Clark hit 14 boundaries but he knew he’d missed out on a sizeable score as he trudged off.

George Scrimshaw, playing his first Championship match for nearly a year, wasn’t afraid to test out the middle of the pitch and was rewarded in the 78th over when Dan Ibrahim, who had struggled for fluency, wafted at a bouncer and was caught at backward square leg.

Carter has been Sussex’s most consistent batter and in his unfussy but effective way he passed fifty for third successive match only to fall to a leg-side strangle and give Scrimshaw his second wicket.

Nathan McAndrew lost his off stump to Lakmal when Derbyshire took the new ball, having been dropped at second slip by Haider Ali off Sam Conners in the previous over. But former Derbyshire all-rounder Fynn Hudson-Prentice hit Conners for four successive fours on his way to a 46-ball half-century and even nightwatchman Ari Karvelas enjoyed himself, lofting Anuj Dal over the pavilion roof just before stumps.

Derbyshire seamer George Scrimshaw, who was playing his first Championship game for a year, said: “I have wanted to play more red-ball cricket and I was glad to get a run-out in the team and hopefully do a job.

“We didn’t really keep control of the scoring rate before lunch but we clawed it back a bit in the afternoon, when Alex Thomson got the wicket straight after lunch.

“But we never kept enough pressure on although they played a few questionable shots which their set batters didn’t need to play which helped us. We got seven wickets which is something and we’ll need a big effort to take those three wickets in the morning. If we can do that and then get to lunch with no wickets lost we’ll be in a good position again.

“There wasn’t a lot of movement off the seam for the bowlers and it’s a pitch where you have to stay really disciplined and we probably weren’t as disciplined as we’d like to have been.”

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