Match Preview: Northamptonshire (H)

Thursday 16th May 2024
& News
Photography by: David Griffin

Derbyshire face Northamptonshire in a first-class game for the first time since the sides met at Chesterfield in 2019.

Heritage Officer David Griffin previews the match.

Derbyshire and Northamptonshire have met on 174 occasions in first-class cricket, with Derbyshire winning 52, Northamptonshire, 61, with 60 matches drawn plus one complete abandonment at Chesterfield in 2016.

In 2018, Derbyshire completed the double over Northamptonshire, winning by 39 runs when Matt Critchley took 10 wickets in the match at Chesterfield, and winning by a much tighter margin – one wicket – at Northampton, with Harvey Hosein making a match-winning, unbeaten 54. However, their most recent game ended in a 72-run win for Northamptonshire at Chesterfield in 2019.

Derbyshire’s highest innings total in these games is 569 at Northampton in 2012, a match in which Wayne Madsen and Tom Poynton added a remarkable 261 runs for the ninth wicket in Derbyshire’s only innings. Even more remarkably, that partnership wasn’t even a record for Derbyshire, falling short of Warren and Chapman’s world record partnership for the same wicket of 283 against Warwickshire at Blackwell in 1910.

Derbyshire’s lowest total is 46 at Northampton in 1912 in a very low-scoring match; Derbyshire batted first and made 67 all out and the hosts replied with 56 all out. Derbyshire then made 46 in the third innings before Northamptonshire made 58 for four in the last innings to win by six wickets.

Northamptonshire’s highest team total is 647 for five – the fourth highest score ever made against Derbyshire – which secured them an innings victory at Derby in 2003. Their lowest total is 42 all out, at Derby in 1908.

Derbyshire’s batters have scored 67 centuries against Northamptonshire with Madsen’s 231 not out in 2012 at the top of the list. Michael Di Venuto scored 230 at Derby in 2002 and Peter Kirsten made 209, also at Derby in 1980.

The earliest hundred came in 1905, when Levi Wright scored 195 at Derby, while the most recent was in the second innings at Chesterfield in 2018, when Madsen made 116.

Another Wright, John, scored five hundreds against Northamptonshire, more than any other player.

Matt Critchley, who scored an unbeaten 137 against Northamptonshire at Derby in 2015, was the youngest player ever to score a first-class century for Derbyshire – he was aged just 18 years and 270 days.

Luis Reece (168) made a hundred on his first-class debut for Derbyshire against Northamptonshire in the opening game of the 2017 season with Billy Godleman (156) also making a century. This was the second instance of both opening batters making centuries in the same innings against Northamptonshire, Madsen and Chris Rogers having performed the feat at Northampton in 2010.

Reece and Godleman’s partnership in 2017 was 333, a record for Derbyshire’s first wicket in all first-class cricket, until Harry Came and Luis Reece topped it with 360 against Glamorgan at Derby in 2023.

Wayne Larkins made Northamptonshire’s highest individual score at Derby in 1983, scoring 236 in a dazzling array of strokeplay, while the best innings bowling figures were recorded by George Thompson who took seven for 56 in 1909. Thompson claimed the best match figures at Derby in the same game, with figures of 12 for 107.

Rob Bailey, who enjoyed a lengthy career at Wantage Road before joining Derbyshire, holds the record for most first-class hundreds for Northamptonshire against Derbyshire, making six, of which two were at Derby, in 1986 and 1993.

Derbyshire players have produced some impressive all-round performances over the years against Northamptonshire; Garnet Lee, at Northampton in 1927, scored 100 and took 12-143 in the match, one of only three instances of a player making a century and taking 10 wickets in a game for the county.

A year later Lee scored 30 and 155 and took five for 57, while George Pope, at Chesterfield in 1947, scored a century and took six for 43 in Northamptonshire’s first innings.

Jon Clare also had a fine all-round match at Northampton in 2008 scoring 129 not out and taking seven for 74 in the hosts’ only innings.

The best innings analysis by a Derbyshire bowler is nine for 43 by Dominic Cork at Derby in 1995. Arguably at the height of his bowling powers, Cork’s performance was masterly, bowling unchanged throughout the innings for 22 overs. He added four for 50 in the second innings, but, despite his Herculean effort, the visitors won by four wickets.

There have been 25 instances of bowlers taking 10 wickets in a match for Derbyshire against Northamptonshire with Sam Cadman’s 14-104 at Northampton in 1920 at the top of the table.

England leg-spinner, Tommy Mitchell performed the feat on five occasions, and another leg-spinner, Matt Critchley was the latest to do it, taking 10-194 in the win at Chesterfield in 2018.

Two Derbyshire bowlers have performed the hat trick in these fixtures – Harry Storer at Chesterfield in 1922 and Les Townsend at Northampton in 1931.

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