Notts v Derbyshire – A Tale Of Two Counties

Trent Bridge will play host as Nottinghamshire face Derbyshire in the latest round of Division Two matches in the County Championship from Thursday. Notts are second in the table after their recent draw with Middlesex, with the rain thwarting their chances of going top. Derbyshire are fourth in the table, only five points behind Notts, whilst leaders Middlesex are also in action against Durham. We take a look at some of their previous meetings down the years.

The two teams met last year at the same venue, and the home side came out on top. Nottinghamshire totalled 307 runs in their first innings but still managed to win the match by an innings. The visitors were bowled out in their first knock for 149 with quick bowler Luke Fletcher taking three wickets. Haseeb Hameed (57), Steven Mullaney (42), and Ben Duckett (69), then helped Notts build a hefty lead. Derbyshire fared no better in their second innings, bowled out for just 122 with Fletcher (5 for 28), again doing most of the damage.

Earlier in that season, Notts also won at the County ground in Derby, this time by a massive 310 runs. Ben Slater’s century enabled Notts to total 256 in their first innings, before Derbyshire folded for only 105 in reply. Fletcher, again, took 5-28, and Notts batted the home side out of the game with a total of 318. Hameed (94), and Duckett (87), shared a stand of 157 for the second wicket. Derbyshire had no answer to that and were dismissed for 159 second time around. This time Stuart Broad took the bowling honours with 4-37. This victory was actually the county’s first in red-ball cricket for almost three years!

Nottinghamshire eventually managed to finish the season at the top of their group and third in the Division One table but were still scheduled to compete in Division Two this season.

One of the county’s highest totals in first-class cricket came in 1901, when Billy Gunn amassed a huge score of 273 in a total of 661, but Derbyshire saved the game despite following-on. Derbyshire have never hit over 600 in an innings against Notts. However, they did bowl out the county for only 53 runs in 1983 in a low-scoring game.

In 1879, Derbyshire recorded one of the two lowest totals against Nottinghamshire, being blown away for just 16 runs in 21.2 overs in a county match. There were an amazing six batsman dismissed for naught with the top score in the innings being seven. Alfred Shaw (3 for 9), and Fred Morley (7 for 7 in 10.2 overs), bowled unchanged throughout the innings.

In fact, Nottinghamshire have bowled out the Midlands opposition seven times under the score of 50, mainly in the late 1800s and in the early 1900s when the county had potent bowling attacks.

The highest match aggregate in the county’s history came against Derbyshire in 2001 when a mammoth 1655 runs were put together in four days. Nottinghamshire made 526 in their first innings with Usman Afzaal (138), and John Morris (170), the main scorers. Derbyshire replied with 572, before a superb innings from Kevin Pietersen – 218 not out off 255 balls, with 23 fours and nine sixes – got Notts to 557-5 in their second knock. With Morris, who hit his second century of the game, the pair put on an unbeaten 372 for the sixth wicket. The match was not surprisingly drawn.

The county have enjoyed two of their biggest wins in their history against Derbyshire, by an innings and 250 runs in 1885, and by 330 runs in 1904. Derbyshire did beat the county by 303 runs in 1996. Three times there have been one wicket victories for Nottinghamshire against the opposition, with the success in 2002 seeing them chase down a daunting 323 to win with Jason Gallian (111 in nearly seven hours), carrying his bat and putting on 46 for the final wicket with Greg Smith (16 not out), in a desperate struggle to the finishing line.

Legendary bowler Thomas Wass had some fine spells against Derbyshire, with figures of 9-67, 8-17, 8-97, 7-42, and 7-91, and match figures of 14-137, 13-40, and 13-177. The extraordinary feat of dismissing 13 batsmen for only 40 runs came in 1901 in a match played at Welbeck Abbey. After Notts had totalled 300 for 6 in their first effort, Wass then blew away Derbyshire for 44 with bowling figures of 8 for 17 in 12.1 overs. Second time around he took 5-23 in 18 overs as the county won by an innings.

In one of the most remarkable bowling performances seen between the two sides came in 1875, when the great Alfred Shaw showed his mastery over the opposition. With Derbyshire chasing 184 to win, he took a hat-trick as the last six wickets fell for one run, finishing with 8-25 in 30.3 overs. This followed an even amazing spell of bowling in the first innings when he had figures of 4-37 in 68 overs with 44 maidens!

The current crop of Nottinghamshire bowlers will be looking to equally impress this week, hopefully a win for Notts will help the side reach their target of promotion back to Division One.

*Article provided by Hitesh Darji (Cricket Correspondent)

*Main image @TrentBridge Luke Fletcher was in fine form against Derbyshire last season.

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