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Olivier’s first five-wicket haul puts Derbyshire on top

Duanne Olivier
Duanne Olivier

South African pace bowler Duanne Olivier claimed his first five-wicket haul for Derbyshire as they finished on top after the first day at Durham in Division Two of the Specsavers County Championship.

The visitors held a 79-run lead after 18 wickets fell at Emirates Riverside.

Olivier produced a fine performance with the ball to bowl the home side out for 96, taking five for 20.

Durham responded as Chris Rushworth, Nathan Rimmington, Josh Coughlin and Matt Salisbury all claimed two wickets apiece, but they could not stop the visitors edging day one, ending the final session 175-8.

Olivier said: “I was very excited that I contributed towards the team. Obviously the wicket was a bit bowler friendly, but we put ourselves in a good position to win the game and perform well over the next couple of days.

“We came here last night and this morning, and we could see there was a lot of grass on the wicket.

“So the key was just to keep it as a simple as possible and bowl it in the right areas.

“That’s what happened for us. Other wickets before were good grafting wickets. I think as a bowling unit over the course of the previous games we put in the hard work. In this game it’s paid off.”

Talking about Derbyshire’s 79-run lead, Olivier added: “An 80-run lead is like a 150-200-run lead on this wicket.

“If we can bat well tomorrow for the last two wickets and get another 50 runs it could be crucial for us.

“There was still enough in the wicket late in the day. When Matt Salisbury bowled to Tony Palladino it was moving quite a bit. The guys applied themselves quite well at the end.

“The game’s moving forward and it depends how long we can bat for to put them under pressure. We’ve got the lead and it doesn’t matter when we bowl, if we can get them two or three down they’ll be under pressure.”

The home side were inserted in overcast conditions and the Derbyshire seamers were able to capitalise.

Olivier made the initial breakthrough as he removed stand-in skipper Cameron Steel for one.

Tom Latham did not last long at the other end as he fell lbw to Hardus Viljoen, while Michael Jones and Will Smith were next to depart, leaving the north-east outfit 26-4.

Graham Clark and Gareth Harte offered resistance to guide their side past 50, but both batsmen fell just before the lunch as Alfie Gleadall claimed his maiden first-class wicket to remove Harte, with Tony Palladino dismissing Clark for 19.

Derbyshire’s onslaught continued after the break as Olivier returned to the attack. The South African notched his five-wicket haul, sending Ryan Davies, Rimmington and Salisbury back to the pavilion. Viljoen ended the Durham innings by bowling Coughlin, ending with figures of 3-20.

Rushworth struck back immediately for the home side, bowling Billy Godleman for two. However, Ben Slater and Wayne Madsen settled into a rhythm and saw the shine off the new ball to make inroads into the home side’s total.

Slater was looking composed, but then played a loose hook shot off Rimmington and was caught behind by Davies.

Salisbury got into the action after the tea break from the Finchale End. He notched his first wicket for Durham as he broke through Alex Hughes’ defences to bowl the batsman for four.

Rushworth managed to find enough movement off the wicket to pin Madsen in front of his stumps for 36.

Matt Critchley looked in good touch at the crease and Durham spurned a glorious opportunity when he was dropped on 24 by Latham. Salisbury was the unfortunate bowler, but Latham atoned for his error by snagging Callum Brodrick two balls later at second slip.

The New Zealander was alert in the slip cordon once again to dismiss Daryn Smith as Rimmington notched his second scalp.

Coughlin claimed his County Championship wicket as he stopped Critchley’s progress for 38. He did not have long to wait for his second as a full delivery was too good for Viljoen.

Palladino added important runs late in the day in a partnership with Gleadall to take the visitors’ lead to 79 at the close.