Match Preview: Glamorgan (A)

Thursday 11th April 2024
Photography by: David Griffin

After the disappointment of seeing Derbyshire’s opening game of the season fall foul of the weather, the county’s first match on the road in 2024 is against Glamorgan at Sofia Gardens where they concluded the 2023 season with a draw last September.

Heritage Officer David Griffin previews the match.

This will be the 139th scheduled first-class game between the two sides who first met at Cardiff in 1921, a match Derbyshire won by two wickets.

Glamorgan batted first in that match and made 168 before dismissing Derbyshire for just 83. In their second innings the home side succumbed to the bowling of Bill Bestwick who, at the age of 46, took all ten wickets for 40 runs, before lunch, the best innings bowling performance in Derbyshire’s history.

Derbyshire then made 193 for eight in their second innings with Bill Carter making an unbeaten 50 batting at number nine.

Derbyshire have won 48 games and Glamorgan 32 with 58 draws, one of which was a completely abandoned fixture at Chesterfield in 1956.

Derbyshire’s highest innings total of 598 for five was at Swansea in a drawn game in 2019, while Glamorgan’s best was at Cardiff in 1951 when they amassed 587 for eight which was enough to secure an innings win.

Derbyshire have scored 52 hundreds against Glamorgan, four of them doubles, by Billy Godleman (227), Peter Kirsten (213 not out and 206 not out), and Luis Reece (201 not out).

Kirsten’s 213 not out at Derby in 1980 was a masterpiece. With the first innings scheduled to close after 100 overs – a regulation of its time – Kirsten was 105 not out at tea with 18 overs until the forced closure of the innings. On resuming after the break, Kirsten scored 108 from the remaining 18 overs in a simply majestic display of strokeplay which included 32 fours and five sixes.

Luis Reece has scored more centuries for Derbyshire against Glamorgan than any other player – five – with four of them coming in 2023. In the process he became the first player to score two centuries in a match twice for the county, making 131 and 201 not out at Derby, and 139 and 119 at Cardiff.

He also enjoyed a magnificent 360-run partnership with Harry Came in the second innings of the game at Derby in 2023, the second highest in the club’s history and a record for the first wicket.

Derbyshire’s bowlers have been frustrated by their opponents on more than one occasion, especially at Cardiff in 2022 and at Colwyn Bay in 2016.

New Derbyshire signing and captain David Lloyd made a splendid 313 not out at Cardiff at the end of the 2022 season, and Aneurin Donald – another new recruit for 2024 – scored what was then the fastest ever double hundred in the history of the game at Colwyn Bay in 2016. He made 237, reaching his double century off 123 balls and when he was finally dismissed, he had struck a remarkable 26 fours and 15 sixes.

Luke Sutton and Brooke Guest are the only wicketkeepers to make first class hundreds against Glamorgan, Guest making two in the game at Derby in 2022, the sole occurrence of a Derbyshire wicketkeeper scoring a century in each innings of a match.

There have been 96 instances of Derbyshire bowlers taking five wickets in an innings against Glamorgan, Cliff Gladwin topping the list having done it eight times, and unsurprisingly the best match figures belong to Bill Bestwick who ended the 1921 game with 14 for 111.

The most recent instance was at Derby in 2022 when Suranga Lakmal took five for 82.

Just one hat trick has been taken by a Derbyshire bowler against Glamorgan, slow left armer David Steele performing the feat at Derby in 1980, while three bowlers have taken three wickets in four balls, Bestwick at Cardiff in 1921, Garnet Lee at Swansea in 1927, and Kevin Dean at Derby in 2002.

Sometimes, an incident occurs during a cricket match which shocks participants and spectators to the core, and one such occurred at Chesterfield in 1978 during the game between Derbyshire and Glamorgan.

Derbyshire’s Phil Russell, on the second, and as it turned out, final day of the game was fielding at short leg when Malcolm Nash played a powerful pull shot straight into Russell’s face. The helmet worn by Russell had a protective facial grill, but the ball still found its way to connect with Russell’s cheekbone which was broken. He also suffered a chipped tooth and deep facial bruising. He was helped from the field with blood pouring from his wounds and taken to hospital for treatment. Speaking after the game Nash said: “I really got hold of the ball off the meat of the bat” and club secretary David Harrison commented: “Everyone is agreed that he would have been far more seriously injured or even killed if a shot of that strength had not been kept from striking him with its full force.”

Russell made a full recovery and as county coach helped Derbyshire win the NatWest Trophy in 1981, the RAL Sunday League in 1990 and the Benson and Hedges Cup in 1993.

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