Chappell claims five as match ends in draw

Monday 27th May 2024

Zak Chappell claimed his best figures in Derbyshire colours as the final day ended in a draw at Bristol.

The fast bowler claimed figures of 5 for 58 on a pitch heavily in favour of the batters at the Seat Unique Stadium.

James Bracey was dismissed for 144 and Graeme van Buuren made 187 after extending their record-breaking fifth-wicket stand to 277, but too much time had been lost to the weather and the players shook hands at 4.53pm when Derbyshire with Derbyshire on 166 for four.

Brooke Guest contributed 57, his second half-century of the match. The visitors took 15 points from the game and Gloucestershire 14.

Only 21 overs had been bowled on day three because of rain and a draw looked the only likely outcome when play began with Gloucestershire 127 runs adrift of Derbyshire’s first innings total. The first ball of the day from Anuj Dal brought a van Buuren boundary and a fourth batting bonus point for the hosts.

Five more runs had been added when the marathon stand between Bracey and van Buuren, who had resumed on 137 and 156 respectively, was finally broken, Bracey looking aghast as the ball trickled onto his stumps and dislodged the bails as he attempted to sweep off-spinner Alex Thomson.

Bracey had faced 190 balls and hit 20 fours and a six. The stand with van Buuren occupied 52.2 overs and bettered by 16 the previous Gloucestershire record fifth-wicket partnership of 261, put together by W.G.Grace and William Moberly against Yorkshire at Cheltenham 148 years ago.

Webster soon attacked with two fours in an over off Dal before a van Buuren single off Thomson brought Gloucestershire their fifth batting point. The skipper’s 236-ball knock, featuring 23 fours and three sixes, ended with the total on 475 when he drove at a good length ball from Sam Conners and edged to slip.

An unexpected clatter of wickets followed as Ed Middleton was caught behind fencing at Chappell, who followed up by removing Matt Taylor and Marchant de Lange with successive balls, the former caught at fine leg off a glance he timed too well and the latter lbw to a toe-crushing yorker.

Chappell was denied a hat-trick when his next delivery, also very full, crashed into Ajeet Singh Dale’s pads, but was rightly ruled to be missing leg stump. Gloucestershire’s number 11 went on to share a stand of 43 with Webster, who moved confidently to a run-a-ball fifty, celebrating with a big six over mid-wicket and into the car park off Conners.

The tall Aussie was last man out, skying a catch to long-off to give Daryn Dupavillon a wicket, having struck eight fours and three sixes. Chappell’s figures were outstanding, but Derbyshire were left to reflect on taking only two bowling points, having wasted the second new ball on day three, and Gloucestershire’s slender lead of four runs offered little hope of a decisive result.

Only a clatter of Derbyshire second innings wickets could change that. It seemed even less likely when Marchant de Lange’s opening over with the new ball went for 14.

There was a glimmer of light for Gloucestershire when de Lange bowled Luis Reece off an inside edge for seven with the total on 25. But skipper David Lloyd cruised to 49, with eight fours, before edging leg-spinner Middleton through to wicketkeeper Bracey.

In bright afternoon sunshine, the cricket became soporific as Guest and Wayne Madsen steadily accumulated against slow bowlers Middleton and Ollie Price without the runs counting for much. By tea, Derbyshire had moved to 129 for two and led by 125, Guest having just reached his fifty off 100 balls, with seven fours.

The abridged final session saw Madsen caught behind for 30 trying to reverse sweep Middleton and Guest snapped up at short-leg off Price after the pair had added 70 for the third wicket.

Derbyshire Head of Cricket, Mickey Arthur said: “I have really enjoyed the last four days and the performance of the team. We planted the seeds last week and they are starting to sprout.

“We found a method, won the toss and got on the front foot by batting and posting a score. Apart from a crazy hour yesterday with the second new ball, we bowled really well too.

“You have to maintain your line and lengths and attack with the way you set the field. We got it right this morning and if I could have cut that out and applied it to an hour and a half yesterday the outcome might have been different.

“Matt Lamb’s double century was a proper innings. He is fighting a battle with his back, but was outstanding and totally deserved his runs for the effort he has put in.”

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