|Scorecard:||Nottinghamshire v Derbyshire|
A good team performance by Derbyshire, headed by a sound 68 from John Moss, enabled them to defeat Nottinghamshire at the Trent Bridge ground by 10 runs. Nottinghamshire won the toss and put Derbyshire in to bat on a partly cloudy evening with the sun breaking through at times.
Ten runs came off the opening over from the accurate medium-pacer Mark Ealham, thanks to two snicks for four, either side of the solitary slip, by Chris Bassano. Bassano did not survive the next over, though, being caught by the wicketkeeper, Chris Read, for 9 as he slashed at a ball from Andy Harris outside the off stump and edged a simple catch. Derbyshire were 14 for one in the second over.
The batsmen struggled for runs as Ealham and Harris bowled with commendable skill and accuracy, only 30 runs coming off the first five overs. Then Harris went for 21 in the sixth over, and Derbyshire were looking rather better. Ealham finished his four overs at a cost of 27 runs.
James Bryant made 26 before he swung across the line to the left-arm spinner Sumit Patel and was comprehensively bowled, the ball after opener John Moss reached his fifty, off 32 balls. Nottinghamshire were 90 for one in the 11th over.
Good work from long-on by Harris resulted in the run-out of new batsman Hassan Adnan for 7, as the batsmen attempted a second run, and with the very next ball from Gareth Clough Moss skyed a catch to Patel in the covers. He made 68, and Derbyshire were 115 for four in the 14th over.
Luke Sutton ran himself out unnecessarily for 2 as his partner David Taylor was struck on the pad by a ball from Clough and had no intention of running, while Sutton charged down the pitch and was run out by the bowler. Later in the over Taylor swung at Clough and was yorked for 9, leaving Derbyshire on 130 for six in the 16th over. Clough finished with two for 33 in his four overs.
Ryan Sidebottom bowled the final over and with his first ball yorked Ant Botha (8), uprooting his leg stump; Derbyshire were now 157 for seven. They were able to score only six more runs off the remaining five balls, with Graeme Welch finishing unbeaten on 15. Sidebottom, with one for 21, was the most economical bowler. Nottinghamshire faced a target of 164.
They lost Jason Gallian for a single in the first over, as he edged Mohammad Ali straight to Taylor at second slip, with the score on 3. After a brief spell of fluency by Paul Franks and Kevin Pietersen, bowlers Ali and Walsh tied them down with accuracy, backed by tight fielding. Walsh, in his final over, finally gained his reward, bowling Franks for 17 as he backed away and tried to force the ball through the off-side field; 54 for two in the eighth over.
David Hussey began well, hitting Paul Havell for six over midwicket, but he soon fell for 7, skying a ball into the covers for a South African dismissal – caught Bryant, bowled Botha. Moments later Pietersen fell, stumped by Sutton off Botha for 32. As he walked out he swung his bat petulantly in a way that would surely have copped him a fine in a Test match. Botha bowled a double-wicket maiden and Nottinghamshire, with two new batsmen at the crease, were 68 for four after 10 overs.
Next to go, in the 13th over, was Ealham for 7, unable to repeat his heroics of Wednesday against Yorkshire as he tried to pull Havell and played the ball on to his stumps. At 81 for five in the 13th over, Nottinghamshire were sinking into trouble.
Read was still there, but tamed until he launched Havell over extra cover for a one-bounce four. But without addition to his 10, he sliced Havell to Bryant at extra cover, making Nottinghamshire 87 for six after 13 overs.
Clough enjoyed a couple of lucky escapes, a run-out being fluffed one ball and a tame drive just clearing extra cover, while Patel joined him as they made a last bid for the Nottinghamshire victory. Botha finished a good spell of two for 28 off his four overs, but the return of Ali saw Clough launch him for two successive sixes into the stand beyond midwicket. With three overs left, Nottinghamshire’s last four wickets needed 35 to win the match.
Only seven came off the next over from Adnan, leaving 29 off two overs. They were struggling, although Patel did loft him for four over mid-off, but was then bowled by Ali for 25 as he stepped across his stumps to attempt a leg-side hit; 141 for seven with 23 needed off seven balls and, after a single, 22 in the final over.
Adnan bowled it, with skill and backed by sound fielding, and Clough skyed the third ball to be caught by Read and depart for 28. A six by Logan off the penultimate ball came too late, and the ending was spoiled as the batsmen went for two in the face of a horde of ill-disciplined children who raced across the field to the middle the moment Logan hit the ball. Fortunately the invasion did not affect the result, but such occurrences quite clearly have the potential to do just that. The authorities need to anticipate this and ensure there is no possibility of this happening. Their past record shows that they rarely act until a disaster has actually taken place.
Nottinghamshire finished ten runs short, with Logan unbeaten on 11; fine bowling by Ali and Adnan at the death finally settled the match in Derbyshire’s favour.
(Article: Copyright © 2004 John Ward)
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