Derbyshire v Nottinghamshire

Derbyshire v Nottinghamshire Bob Willis Trophy August 1-4th at Trent Bridge

Neil Whitaker reports

Day 1-

NOTTINGHAMSHIRE edged the first day of their Bob Willis trophy match with Derbyshire posting 324 after being put in with Haseeb Hameed top scoring with 68 and Samit Patel rescuing the Nottinghamshire innings when it floundered.

When he came into bat Nottinghamshire had collapsed to 160 for six after they had been 109 without loss at lunch time.  After tea he took a particular liking to Sam Conners,in six overs after tea he added 40 runs to his tea score of 23 while at other end Joyey Evison only added two. Derbyshire got rid of Patel when he edged Michael Cohen without moving his feet to Wayne Madsen at first slip.

Derbyshire fought back in the afternoon session with seven wickets for 100 runs in 30 overs to keep the match alive when  at lunch they looked out of the match. The only bowler who was wicketless in the afternoon session was legspinner Matt Critchley.  South African Cohen and Luis Reece took a couple of wickets each and the rest were shared between Corners, Ben Aitchison and Fynn Hudson-Prentice.  Conners got the Derbyshire breakthrough in the first over after lunch when he swung one back at Chris Nash who was leg before. 

Before lunch opener Nash had looked confident and he pulled the first ball of Aitchison’s second spell over square leg for the first Nottinghamshire six of the season. At that point he looked like he would take the Derbyshire attack apart in the afternoon. He brought up his fifty in 69 balls with six fours and that six. It was his first fifty since July last year when he hit 50 against Somerset at Taunton and his first at Trent Bridge when he hit 58 against Somerset in April 2019.  

Ben Duckett got off the mark when he drove his second ball from Conners to the cover boundary. He made another five when he was squared up by Aichison and edged him to Jacobus Du Plooy at second slip who took a low catch.

Joe Clarke drove left arm seamer Cohen but got an inside edge to give stumper Harvey Hosein an easy catch.  After Clarke’s wicket Nottinghamshire lost three wickets in 12 balls.  Nottinghamshire’s hopes of getting a big score rested now on new signing Haseeb Hamed on his Nottinghamshire debut and skipper Steven Mullaney but three overs after Clarke’s departure Haseeb Hameed was back in the hutch.

Haseeb Hameed,who was released from Lancashire last year after four seasons, hit his first Championship fifty since he made 55 for Lancashire against Northamptonshire at Northampton in July 2019. 

He got off to a shaky start and was a junior partner in the partnership with Nash.  On four he survived a confident appeal for caught behind off Conners and clipped the next ball off his legs to the mid wicket boundary. In Conners’ next over Haseeb Hameed drove him to the extra cover boundary for the shot of the morning.

Surprisingly for a man nicknamed Baby Boycs early in his career he  hit 12 off an Hudson-Prentice over with three boundaries: the first off his legs, then off his hip and the final one was edged on the ground to the third man boundary.

He reached his fifty with a cover drive off Aitchison.  His fifty came from 112 balls in 155 minutes and included ten fours.  Just as he looked a cert to reach three figures he played down the wrong line to Reece and was leg before.

After play he said: “It was really special making my debut. It’s been a long time coming because of covid and it’s nice to contribute. Hopefully I can make some more.

Everyone here has been brilliant helping me to fit in.  The coaches have created 

a very special environment here. In the first session  you never felt in at any time and you knew that there wasn’t going  one ball was that was going to bounce and get you out.

It’s disappointing to lose six wickets in a cluster but they bowled well and credit where credit’s due.”

Two balls later, after Haseeb’ dismissal his skipper Steven  Mullaney joined him back in the hutch, he pushed against the left armer Reece  and Matthew McKiernan in the gully took a low one handed catch.

Three balls later Peter Trego hung his bat out to Reece and edged him to Hosein. Six wickets had fallen  in 16 overs.  After adding 32 in nine overs with Patel,Tom Moores edged Hudson-Prentice to Harvey Hosein.

With two wickets left Jake Ball and Evison decided to have some fun and in 10 overs they had already added 66.  Ball slapped Critchley for consecutive sixes, the first was straight and the second was over extra cover.  The partnership was ended when Evison pulled McKiernan to Derbyshire skipper Ben Godleman at short mid wicket. McKiernan got his second wicket when Ball played back to him and was bowled.

Cohen said: “It’s nice to be back playing again.  My first couple of overs were nerve wracking and I just tried to get some rhythm because it’s been quite a while since my last game, I am just hoping that it carries on.

They came back in the third session and scored a few more runs than we had hoped for.”

The sun greeted the start of the curtailed 2020 county Championship at Trent Bridge.  Derbyshire, whose home fixture this is but because Derby is hosting the Pakistan tourist’s the fixture was switched to Trent Bridge, won the toss and put Nottinghamshire into bat.  Before play started the players and officials had a minute’s silence for the victims of the pandemic and then took the knee.

Day 2 

DERBYSHIRE fought back on the second day of their clash with neighbours Nottinghamshire intriguingly poised as the match goes into day three with Nottinghamshire 169 ahead with seven second innings wickets in hand.

Derbyshire’ South African Kolpak player Leus Du Plooy started the Derbyshire comeback with his bat and then Sam Conners took three quick Nottinghamshire wickets.  Du Plooy has started this season as he ended last season by hitting a ton.  When he came to the crease Derbyshire had lost two early wickets with only 20 on the board and he was last man out with the score 239.  His 130 was his best score for Derbyshire since joining them last season, beating the 118 he made against Middlesex at Derby. 

With last man Conners they added 80 in 19 overs with Conners only scoring five of them. Their partnership was Derbyshire’s highest tenth wicket partnership against Nottinghamshire beating the 74 made by Alan Ward and Harold Rhodes at Ilkeston in 1969. Conners’ five is the lowest % of runs for Derbyshire record partnership. Nottinghamshire finally broke the partnership when Du Plooy went down the wicket to Samit Patel and lofted him over mid off where Joyey Evison took a brilliant running backwards catch.

Du Plooy said: “It was a special knock for me. I have never batted with the tail before, it was a nice experience. We just wanted a partnership to give us that momentum.  When Conners came in I was trying to get us as close to their total as we could.

It’s so special for us to be back playing cricket, I feel like a schoolboy back at school. Nottinghamshire have had the best of the last two days.”

Earlier it took Nottinghamshire only 14 balls to get their first wicket of the day when Jake Ball squared up Luis Reece who edged him to Tom  Moores without adding to his overnight score.  Six runs later Derbyshire skipper Billy  Godleman tried to repeat a cover drive off Ball which had brought him four runs this time he edged Ball to Moores.  The Derbyshire skipper was clearly unhappy with umpire Neil Mallender’s decision.

Derbyshire went three down when Wayne Madsen attempted to drive the first ball after the second hygiene break from Ball but edged him to Chris  Nash at gully who took a comfortable waiste high catch. Ball had taken three wickets in 23 balls for four runs.

On 34, Du Plooy squeezed out a yorker from left arm seamer, set off for a single and just beat Haseeb Hameed’s throw to the bowler’s end as he ran in from mid wicket.

After lunch he was involved in a crazy run out which saw Matt Critchley dismissed for 45.  The pair had added 93 in 21 overs and got Derbyshire to lunch without any further  loss.  But the partnership was broken by a Fred Karno circus of events.  Critchley played the first ball after lunch out to leg and set for a single.  Du Plooy sent him back and returned to the bowler’s end.  Critchley carried on running, the throw from Chris Nash went miles over Moores’ head who nearly collided with Haseeb Hameed running in from third slip.Critchley decided to make a dash for it but Steven Mullaney picked up the ball and threw the stumps down from close range.

Then Evison got in on the act by taking three wickets for 10 runs in three overs. His first victim was Harvey Hosein who  tried to turn Evison to leg but missed a straight ball and was plumb leg before.

Flynn Hudson-Prentice batting with a runner Madsen played around another straight ball from Evison in his next over and was plumb leg before.

Evison got his third wicket in his next over. Mattie McKieran edged a drive and the ball flew to Haseeb Hameed who without moving took an head high catch at gully.

Michael Cohen got off the mark with a cover boundary off Trego but was lucky not to get an inside edge to the next ball that cut back into him. But he only added another three before he was bowled by Tom Barber to a ball he played back tonbut it kept low.

Ben Aitchison made eight in his debut championship innings but didn’t move his feet and he edged  Barber to Mullaney at second slip who took a low catch.  When that wicket fell it looked Nottinghamshire would have a lead 150 plus.

Joined by Conners it was time for Du Plooy to have some fun.  First he  scooped Evison over Moores’ head to the boundary and laped the next ball to the square leg boundary. As Nottinghamshire spread the field,Du Plooy continued to find the boundary with a mixture of conventional and unconventional shots

He reached his ton when he pulled Ball over mid wicket for a six, his century came in 144 minutes and included 15 fours and a six.  Du Plooy hit consecutive sixes off Ball, the first was over mid wicket and the second over point.

Leading by 85 Nottinghamshire lost their first wicket of their second innings when Nash chopped on to Conners’ second ball.  Conners got his second wicket of the innings 12 overs later when he strangled Duckett down the legside.

Joe Clarke lasted only 10 balls for his two when he became Conners’ third victim of the innings.

Day 3

SAMIT Patel hit 80, his highest score in the County Championship for three years to follow his first innings score of 63 to push Nottinghamshire towards victory over neighbours Derbyshire by the time he had reached 70 Derbyshire were already facing getting the highest score of the match to win it.

He said: “I felt good in the warm up games and I am seeing the ball really well. I think we are in a good position but they’ll be happy with the way they  batted tonight.   I think that it’s going to be difficult for them to get the highest score in the match.”

Patel must be the best number eight in the County Championship. He reached his second fifty off the match which came from 40 balls in 81 minutes when he pushed Matt Critchley out to mid wicket for a single.  He smashed Ben Aitchison straight back towards the bowler with such force that if Aitchison had got in the way of the ball he would have ended up on the boundary. Then he smashed a straight six off the leg spinner Critchley into the Radcliffe Road stand. 

Derbyshire had a glimpse of victory when they had Nottinghamshire on 150 for seven, a lead 235 but they came up against Patel and Joey Evison who added 74 in 14 overs.  Evison, who hit 38 in their first innings, looks a much better batsman than the number nine he came in at.

Evison lofted Sam Conners over mid wicket for a four and two balls later he showed great judgement in leaving one which just missed his off stump.  In Conners’ next over Evison drove him beautifully to the extra cover boundary and did well to dig out a good yorker off the next ball.

He brought up the fifty partnership with Patel from 58 balls when he clipped Conners off his legs to the mid wicket boundary.  It was broken when Evison edged Aitchison without moving his feet to Critchley at second slip.

Patel added: “We were trying to make a statement and we just went out there and enjoyed ourselves.  Evison’s got a cool head on his shoulders and he doesn’t get flustered. We’ve got some good experienced players and some who are learning their way.”

Resuming on 169 ahead Nottinghamshire skipper Steven  Mullaney  got too far under a short ball from Conners and the ball went straight up in the air.  Mullaney looked resigned to the fact that he was going to be caught but the ball went over mid wicket and  into the Smith Cooper stand.  But in the next over he was cramped for space from a short ball from Luis Reece and he steered it to Mattie McKiernan at fourth slip.

Derbyshire got their second wicket of the morning five overs later when Peter Trego steered Aitchison to Critchley at second slip.

Haseeb Hameed hit his second fifty of the match when he gently played Aitchison out on the legside for a single. It was a typical Haseeb Hameed innings but his 244 minute innings ended bizarrely when he simply cut Aitchison to McKiernan at third slip. His fifty included seven fours from 127 balls. 

Tom Moores pulled a short ball from Michael Cohen but the ball hurried on to him and the ball looped to Reece at mid on who took a sprawling catch. Six balls after Patel was leg before to Critchley, Jake Ball got in an awful tangle to Cohen and fended him to stumper Harvey  Hosein. Patel and Ball added 55 in 16 overs for the ninth wicket.  Patel said: “Ball has got a great eye and he times the ball well.”

With 35 overs to bat to take the match into a final day, Derbyshire lost their first wicket in the eighth over when Reece clipped off his legs to Ball at mid on who dove to his right to give Trego his first Nottinghamshire Championship wicket.

After 23 overs Patel was brought into the attack.  Billy Godleman smashed his first over mid wicket for a six and swept the next ball for a four. Godleman drove the last bal of the over to the cover boundary to bring up his fifty from 102 balls and included six fours and that six.

Derbyshire’s head of Cricket David Houghton said: “ The partnership between Wayne Madsen and Godleman has put us in a good position for tomorrow. I think that Patel has played two great knocks at the end of both innings and Leus Du Plooy did the same for us.  We are 129 for one and our top order are firing, so we’ve got a great chance of a comeback victory. Records are there to be broken, we need two big knocks and we have got the capability.

We used to get bullied, this is the first season where Derby players have said to the big teams we are not afraid of you and we have the talent.”

Day 4

DERBYSHIRE hit their highest fourth innings championship total to beat their neighbours Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge by three wickets for their first victory there since 2002 off the penultimate ball.

The man of the moment was 24 year old Fynn Hudson-Prentice who joined Derbyshire from Sussex last year and hit an unbeaten 91. At the end he was joined by 22 year old South African Michael Cohen who celebrated his 22nd birthday by hitting  the winning runs.

Hudson-Prentice featured in three of Derbyshire’s big partnerships in their second innings.  First with Matt  Critchley he added 42 in 19 overs.  Critchley batted for 138 minutes and never looked in trouble when two overs  before tea he charged down the wicket to Samit Patel, missed the ball and was easily stumped by Tom Moores.

Hudson-Prentice said: “It’s the best I’ve ever played and hopefully there’s plenty more to come.  Everyone did their job today,  Critchley played a valuable knock and Cohen got us over the line.  We spoke in the team meeting at tea and said how important the second new ball was going to be.  We just had to make sure that we had a batter set so long as we had wickets in hand we would win. We did it the right way  and didn’t rush it. Now we need wins over Lancashire and Yorkshire.”

Nottinghamshire head coach Peter Moores said: “It was a great game of cricket, we lost it but I am delighted that we were involved in it because it’s been a great game of cricket.

Both sides had exceptional performances.  When it comes down to the last two balls it shows it was a fantastic game.”

There can never have been a more vital seventh wicket partnership for Derbyshire against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge than the one between Hudson-Prentice and Mattie McKiernan as they denied Nottinghamshire for 80 minutes adding 65 in 23 overs.  But just when they going to see Derbyshire home McKiernan chopped on to Jake Ball for 20.  Earlier in over Ball had Hudson-Prentice dropped by  Nottinghamshire skipper Steven Mullaney on 61 diving in front of Ben Duckett at first slip.

True Nottinghamshire only had five bowlers to call on after after Joyey Evison had pulled up with a foot injury in the 48th over after he trapped Derbyshire skipper Billy Godleman for 46 as he tried to turn Evison to mid wicket, but Nottinghamshire should have defended 365.  In  the previous over Godleman had driven Ball for the shot of the morning.

Play was delayed by rain on the final morning due to rain and an over was lost after another 4.4 overs the players were taken off the field because of the rain and another three were lost.

Derbyshire’s century maker of the first innings Leus Du Plooy couldn’t repeat it in the second.  He walked across his stumps and his back foot was well outside the off stump and looked plumb leg before. He must have thought he had got a touch on it because he couldn’t believe umpire Paul Pollard’s decision.

Wayne Madsen only added 16 to his overnight score became the third leg before victim when he missed a straight from Ball in the fourth over after lunch and was plumb. Harvey Hosein made only three before Ball beat him for pace and sent his off stump cartwheeling out of the ground and Nottinghamshire looked like winners

Hudson-Prentice got off the mark when he pulled Trego with a boundary through mid wicket.  He cut Patel for a single to bring up not only his 50 but the fifty partnership with McKeirnan his fifty came off 120 balls

With 34 required off the last six overs. Hudson-Prentice swatted Ball to the mid wicket boundary to pile more pressure on the Nottinghamshire fielders. With four overs left Derbyshire needed 20.


August 3, 2020 2:29 pm

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