Difficult Day Three as Yorkshire stretch lead

Tuesday 5th September 2023
Photography by: David Griffin, written by ECB Reporters Network

Yorkshire set Derbyshire a huge target of 571 to win the ongoing LV= Insurance County Championship match at Scarborough, which heads into its final day tomorrow.

The home side are chasing the season’s double over Leus du Plooy and company and have dominated this Division Two affair from very early during day one.

Day three was no different, with Yorkshire – they led by 50 on first innings – advancing their second innings from 179 for two overnight to 520 for nine declared just after tea.

Five players went beyond fifty, including all-rounder Matthew Revis as the only centurion. His 106 off 142 balls represented his second first-class century of the season and of his career.

Captain Shan Masood also completed a morning 86 against his former county, who closed the day on 65 for one from 26 overs of their ‘chase’.

After lunch, young Derbyshire batter Mitch Wagstaff, who was bowling leg-spin, claimed two wickets in his first over in first-class cricket. He is the first player in his county’s history to achieve that feat in this format of the game.

For certainly the second half of the afternoon session, maybe even longer, Yorkshire’s progress with the bat was nothing more than a training exercise.

Realistically, they had enough of a lead at lunch, where they reached at 324 for five and 374 ahead. Derbyshire’s record chase in first-class cricket is 371 in a one-wicket win over a touring Australian side including the likes of Warne and Gillespie in 1997.

It was understandable that Yorkshire wanted a few more than that. A target of 450 was sufficient. They certainly did not require anything approaching 600, even though this North Marine Road pitch is slower than usual because of recent wet weather.

Revis’s progress towards a century was potentially a reason why they batted on until after tea.

Another likely reason would have been that they will have been targeting a number of overs to bowl rather than an amount of runs to defend.

They have a seam bowling department including a couple of key seam bowling assets with recent injury issues in Ben Coad and England fringe quick Matthew Fisher, and managing their workloads will be a significant consideration. Incidentally, Fisher did not take the field for much of the evening.

Derbyshire rattled through their overs in a bid to improve their over-rate, with off-spinner Alex Thomson finishing with five for 190 from 38.5.

That including a stunning one-handed return catch low to his right to dismiss Masood before lunch, leaving the hosts at 238 for four. The Pakistani left-hander had completed a fourth-wicket partnership of 107 with James Wharton (38).

After opener Fin Bean made 64 late on day two, four others went beyond 50 today, including Revis and Masood. All-rounders George Hill and Jordan Thompson made 79 and 64 respectively.

Wagstaff had Hill caught at slip and Dom Bess, for nought, caught at cover early in the afternoon as Yorkshire fell to 366 for seven after 75 overs.

Revis and Thompson then shared 125, a Yorkshire eighth-wicket record in first-class matches between these two counties.

While 21-year-old Revis was measured, Thompson slog-swept or heaved four sixes over midwicket or long-on.

Revis actually reached tea on 98 not out. Surely, Yorkshire would not have batted on into the evening had he reached his century late in the afternoon. But they did so for 10 balls afterwards to allow a player they rate incredibly highly to achieve another landmark in a career which promises so much.

He fell caught at long-on off Thomson to bring about the declaration.

Bess then claimed the only wicket of Derbyshire’s second innings, getting opener Wagstaff lbw to leave the score at 24 for one in the 10th over – the former England off-spinner’s first over of the match.

But the other opener Harry Came led visiting resistance through to close with an unbeaten 33.

He will be hoping to make Yorkshire regret batting on too long.

Derbyshire captain Leus du Plooy said

“I’m very pleased with that last session. I thought the boys fought hard. We asked the boys this morning to rock up with the right attitude. Although we are a fair way behind in this game, I’m proud of how we went about it today.

“I don’t think it’s fair to say that we can’t win the game because we’ve seen this year that anything’s possible. If you’re set here, you can score really quickly with the short boundary.

“We’ll take it session by session and see if we can get into a position where we can win the game.

“We saw on day two there was a bit of tennis ball bounce after the small roller was used. I don’t know whether the small roller tomorrow will have the same effect.

“The bounce showed you that you can score even though there is a bit of a movement for the bowlers.

“Mitch (Wagstaff) is showing a lot of promise for a young lad, and I thought he bowled brilliantly under pressure today. It’s nice to see that we’ve got someone who can do a decent job as a leg-spinner.

“His first wicket wasn’t a gimme. It was a proper wicket and a quality player he got out in George Hill. He can be very proud.

“Tommo (Alex Thomson) just wanted the ball, and that’s all you want. He probably deserved five wickets for a lot less runs had the chances gone his way. His name is on the honours board, and you can’t take that away from him.”
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