Derbyshire CCC began their 2014 LV = County Championship Division Two season at the weekend, in a match away to Essex.
Graeme Welch’s side made an explosive start to the contest against a side containing England stars Alistair Cook and Ravi Bopara but the home side began to come more into the game as the match proceeded.
Mark Footitt and Tim Groenewald took five wickets each as Essex were bowled out for a meagre 94 on day one. Groenewald’s haul of wickets included a hat-trick with former Derbyshire all-rounder Greg Smith suffering a first-ball dismissal.
Derbyshire then made 154 in their first innings with Shivnarine Chanderpaul top scoring with 75 not out.
Second time around, Essex made a much better fist of batting, England captain Cook leading the way after his tough winter down under, eventually being dismissed for 181 as his side made 425 all out.
This meant that Derbyshire required 366 to win.
As the News went to press at the start of the game’s fourth and final day, Derbyshire were 167-5 with Chanderpaul holding the key for his side, handily placed on 41 not out and hoping for plenty of support from Richard Johnson, David Wainwright, Mark Turner, Footitt and Groenwald to knock off the remaining 199 runs.
n It’s been a busy close-season at The 3aaa County Ground with the arrival of former captain Graeme Welch as new elite performance director, and the addition to the squad of Stephen Moore and Scott Elstone, plus the signing of Australian batsman Marcus North.
West Indies great Shivnarine Chanderpaul is back for a second season.