Match Preview: Middlesex (A)

Saturday 22nd June 2024
& News
Photography by: David Griffin

After almost a month of Twenty20 cricket, Derbyshire return to red ball action with their eighth Championship match of the summer, against Middlesex at Lord’s.

Heritage Officer David Griffin previews the match.

Derbyshire won the last game between these two sides, by six wickets at Chesterfield in 2022, but it’s 22 years since they defeated Middlesex at Lord’s, prevailing by 204 runs in 2002, largely thanks to Michael Di Venuto’s 192 not out and 113. The Australian remains the only Derbyshire player to score two centuries in a match at Lord’s.

The counties first met  at Lord’s in 1929 and Middlesex have claimed 36 wins to date, with Derbyshire victorious on 25 occasions. There have been 42 drawn matches. Although Derbyshire had held first-class status  – almost continuously – since 1871, Middlesex refused to play them until 1929 on the unsubstantiated basis that the northern county were a bunch of ruffians. As a result, the two counties have only met 103 times, although by comparison Derbyshire have faced Lancashire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire more than 200 times.

Derbyshire’s highest team total is 557-6 declared at Derby in 2019 when five Derbyshire players made scores of 90 or more, a unique occurrence in the county’s history; Leus du Plooy (118), Billy Godleman (102), Luis Reece (96), Fynn Hudson-Prentice (99) and Anuj Dal (92) were the record-breakers.

Hudson-Prentice is the only player to be dismissed for 99 on his debut for Derbyshire, and later in the game became the 5th player in Derbyshire’s history to take a wicket with his first ball for the Club.

The record margin win of 363 runs came at Derby in 1996, when a title-chasing Derbyshire destroyed the visitors thanks to a hundred in each innings by Chris Adams, a further century from Dean Jones and 12-83 in the match for Andrew Harris. It was as comprehensive a win as ever recorded by the county in first-class matches.

That 1996 result was revenge for the drubbing at the same venue in 1994 when Middlesex scored 545 and won by an innings and 96 runs, Richard Johnson taking 10-45 in Derbyshire’s second innings, the best innings figures ever recorded at Derby.

22 different players have scored a total of 31 hundreds for Derbyshire against Middlesex, including Wayne Madsen and Luis Reece of the current squad.

Chris Adams (three) has scored the most hundreds against Middlesex, although Di Venuto’s unbeaten 192 is the highest at Lord’s. The highest individual score for Middlesex in these games at Lord’s is Mike Gatting’s 215 not out in 1991. Gatting and Peter Parfitt both made six hundreds against Derbyshire, the most for Middlesex.

In matches at Lord’s, Jim Sims’ eight for 32 in 1939 are the best innings figures for the hosts, while Les Jackson’s seven for 48 in 1956 top the list for Derbyshire. Sims also recorded the best match figures of 13 for 160 in 1939, while Jackson finished with 12 for 116 in 1956.

25 bowlers have taken five wickets in an innings 51 times, with Les Jackson’s eight instances leading the way; Jackson producing the best innings analysis of eight for 44 at The Ind Coope Ground, Burton-on-Trent in 1960.

The last Derbyshire bowler to take five wickets in an innings was Tony Palladino, who bagged 5-39 at Derby in 2011.

There have been nine instances of Derbyshire bowlers taking 10 wickets in a match with Tommy Mitchell and Jackson performing the feat twice apiece with Mitchell’s 13-113 the best, at Derby in 1934.

Derbyshire’s highest partnership for any wicket against Middlesex is 219 – for the first wicket – by Ben Slater and Luis Reece at Derby in 2018.

Eddie Gothard, who took a mere 18 first-class wickets for the county – including Don Bradman in 1948 – took a hat trick against Middlesex at Derby in 1947 and then, somewhat improbably, persuaded the three victims to pose for a photograph with him at the close of play.

87 opposition wickets have fallen to the relatively unusual dismissal of Hit Wicket in Derbyshire’s long history, the most recent of which occurred in 2018 when Lockie Ferguson removed Nick Gubbins in that fashion during the game at Lord’s.

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