Statistical Preview: Sussex

Sunday 9th July 2023
& News
Photography by: David Griffin

Derbyshire get the second half of the County Championship campaign underway with a trip to the south coast to face Sussex at Hove.

Heritage Officer David Griffin previews the match.

There have been 142 scheduled first class fixtures between these two counties with honours largely shared since they first met at Derby in 1880, Derbyshire winning 42, Sussex 51, with 47 draws and two abandoned games, at Chesterfield in 1932 and 1938.

Derbyshire’s largest innings total of 606 for six came at Derby in the opening game of the 1995 season when Sussex were skittled for 111 on the first day, Devon Malcolm taking six for 61 before Kim Barnett (164), Chris Adams (111) and Daryl Cullinan (134 on debut) put the visiting bowlers to the sword aided by an unbeaten 84 from Dominic Cork.

In their second innings Sussex managed just two more runs than in their first, as Philip DeFreitas took six for 35 and Malcolm added a further three wickets to see Derbyshire home by an innings and 379 runs, at the time, their record margin of victory by an innings.

Four opposition bowlers conceded more than 100 runs in this game, a statistic reversed in 2010 when Sussex made their highest innings score of 576 for three with the top four all scoring hundreds and four Derbyshire bowlers conceding hundreds, the only such occurrence in the club’s history.

In recent years, games between these two counties have usually produced positive results, with both winning eight matches apiece out of the last 20. And despite defeat there last summer, Derbyshire won the preceding three games at Hove by 45 runs, 181 runs and nine wickets.

The defeat in 2022 came after Derbyshire had declared their first innings, declined to enforce the follow on, declared their second innings, and lost. This is the only such instance in Derbyshire’s history.

When Derbyshire won at Hove in 2021, Sussex were 300 all out in their first innings, the highest team total ever made which included six players dismissed for no score.

Derbyshire have registered 51 hundreds against Sussex, including two double centuries, Shan Masood topping the list with 239 at Derby in 2022 which broke the previous record for the highest individual Derbyshire score at Derby of 238 set by Stan Worthington, also against Sussex in 1937.

Barnett scored four hundreds against Sussex, the most by any player, while amongst the current staff Anuj Dal, Billy Godleman, Wayne Madsen and Luis Reece have all reached three figures.

When Shan Masood scored 239 at Derby last year, Tom Haines and Chesteshwar Pujara also scored double hundreds, only the 11th time worldwide that a game featured three doubles.

Three players carried their bat through a completed innings against Sussex; Barnett scored 73* out of 183 at Derby in 1993, Adrian Rollins made 78* out of 220 at Hove in 1996, and Luke Sutton made a superb 140* out of 263 at Derby in 2001. Sutton, remarkably, was the last man out in the second innings, scoring 54 out of 117.

Derbyshire’s highest partnership for any wicket against Sussex was shared between Shan Masood and Madsen at Derby in 2022 when they added 292 for the third wicket, at the same time setting a third wicket record for the county at Derby.

At the other end of the batting order, only 28 runs were required to set the record for Derbyshire’s highest successful 10th wicket partnership when Matthew Vandrau and Malcolm steered their side to a nail-biting one wicket win over Sussex at Eastbourne in 1994.

Derbyshire’s bowlers have taken five wickets in an innings 96 times with Bill Copson leading with the way with seven instances.

Fred Swarbrook’s astonishing nine for 20 at Hove in 1975 is not just the best against Sussex but also the fourth best innings analysis ever for the county. Remarkably, Swarbrook’s analysis was the best recorded in the UK between 1964 and 1991.

The feat of taking ten wickets in a match has been performed 17 times, although only Bill Bestwick managed it twice; while the best match figures were recorded by Hardus Viljoen in the course of the win at Hove in 2017 when he took 15 for 170, the county’s fifth best match analysis.

Two bowlers have taken hat tricks, Harold Evans at Hove in 1881 and AEG ‘Dusty’ Rhodes at Derby in 1951.

Derbyshire players have only scored a hundred and taken five wickets in an innings in the same match on 19 occasions, and none were surely much more memorable than Luis Reece’s performance is scoring a superlative 184 at Derby in 2019 and then followed it with five for 63. Many observers regard his 184 as one of the great modern innings seen at Derby.

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