Dal claims five as Derbyshire look to build

Sunday 3rd September 2023
Photography by: David Griffin, written by ECB Reporters Network

Derbyshire all-rounder Anuj Dal impressed with 5-72 during a hard-fought opening day of their LV= Insurance County Championship clash with Yorkshire at Scarborough.

Dal’s 20 overs of medium pace limited Yorkshire to 297 after they had been inserted in a low key Division Two affair.

While Yorkshire are bottom of Division Two and definitely out of the promotion race, Derbyshire are just about still alive. But it would take something remarkable to secure a top-two finish given they are 52 points adrift with four games remaining.

Dal’s third career five-wicket haul – his second in the Championship this season – stood out during a day which saw a number of Yorkshire batters fail to make the most of encouraging starts on a pitch not as pacy as is usual at North Marine Road.

James Wharton top-scored with a middle order 58, but Fin Bean and Jonny Tattersall both fell in the forties. Derbyshire then reached close at 47 for one from 17 overs.

For large parts, the cricket meandered in front of a subdued crowd in the Scarborough sunshine, interspersed by regular wickets for 27-year-old Dal.

Yorkshire’s openers Bean and Adam Lyth confidently shared 59 inside 20 overs.

But both left-handers were lbw stuck on the crease to Dal either side of lunch. Lyth fell for 32 and then Bean for 41.

When the latter fell six balls into the afternoon, Yorkshire were 98 for three after 30 overs. Home captain, and last year’s prolific Derbyshire overseas player, Shan Masood had also been caught behind cutting at Sam Conners for eight just before lunch.

After an opening half-century stand, Derbyshire did well to limit Yorkshire.

Their fourth success came when the battle of the Georges was won by tall quick Scrimshaw, getting Hill feathering behind for 11 at 129 for four in the 41st over.

For Yorkshire, this final month was always going to be about signs of progress ahead of next year’s promotion push after July’s 48-point deduction sunk them to the bottom of Division Two.

So for someone such as 22-year-old Wharton to contribute will encourage significantly.

He has reached 50 in all formats this year – his breakthrough campaign – including a blistering Vitality Blast 111 against Worcestershire in June.

The pace of this innings was vastly different, but there were signs of dominance as he and Tattersall shared 71 for the fifth wicket through the afternoon.

Wharton hammered a pull through midwicket off Conners and shimmied down the pitch to work off-spinner Alex Thomson wide of mid-on for four more.

The latter took him to his second Championship fifty, off 102 balls. By that time, Yorkshire were closing in on 200. But when they reached that mark, Wharton fell as he edged a drive at Dal behind in the 61st.

That was the first of two identical dismissals in successive Dal overs.

When Matthew Revis was caught behind aiming an expansive drive like Wharton had, Yorkshire were 204 for six in the 63rd.

Dal’s fifth wicket came in the first over of the evening having earlier removed Bean in the opening over of the afternoon.

This time, Tattersall fell caught behind driving for 45, leaving Yorkshire 213 for seven in the 65th.

Mitch Wagstaff took a stunner of a gully catch head high to help Scrimshaw remove Dom Bess shortly afterwards before Jordan Thompson and Matthew Fisher both hit sixes over long-on off Thomson’s spin to push Yorkshire up towards 300.

The hosts narrowly missed out on that, but Fisher hit six leg-side fours in eight balls he faced from Scrimshaw, including four in an over, en-route to 37 not out off 22 balls.

Thompson made 32 before miscuing a catch off Thomson. Scrimshaw then wrapped up the innings by getting Ben Coad caught behind.

Coad then struck early in Derbyshire’s reply, but the departure of Harry Came was due to Tattersall’s brilliance behind the stumps as he completed a one-handed diving catch down leg – nought for one in the third over.

Left-handed Wagstaff then confidently ensured there were no further dramas, closing with an unbeaten 32.

“We had a good conversation yesterday about how we wanted to approach these next four games, and that epitomises what we’re looking to try and do.

“We went in with a mindset of looking to take wickets, and obviously winning the toss and electing to bowl set that intent. It was really good to see the guys do so well.

“I think Sammy Conners and Zak Chappell really set the tone early on. It was really easy for me to come on and back them up. Credit where it’s due.

“I felt in good rhythm. Starting against left-handers, it felt quite nice. I had a decent stint with the second team at Loughborough last week, and it was nice to get the red ball back in my hand and show what I can do here today.

“For Mitch Wagstaff to come in and get the nod this morning, it’s never easy. But I thought he played really well.

“His intent and positivity – to play the way he did in a tough little stint as an opening batter that you probably don’t way, I thought he was fantastic. Massive credit to him.

“He was backed up beautifully by Brooke Guest, who is always a stock-standard guarantee for our side. He’s one of our experienced players.
“I’m pleased for him that he was able to get a start, and hopefully he can go on tomorrow.”

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