On top of Premier League table

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SONY DSC

Alvaston & Boulton 1st XI 158 all out,

Chesterfield 1st XI 159-1

(Derbyshire

Premier League)

Chesterfield cruised to a comfortable win with an impressive display at Derby on Saturday against one of the teams expected to be title contenders this year.

On a day that saw all other Premier League game cancelled due to ground conditions, the hard work of the Alvaston & Boulton ground staff gave the two sides at Raynesday the opportunity to steal a march on the rest of the league which Chesterfield took in some style.

Having the opportunity to bowl first courtesy of winning the toss they made early inroads as Michael Deane exploited the conditions admirably to take two wickets in three balls with the Alvaston side stuck on six.

With the total on 29 the experienced seamer got one to rear at Hassan Adnam who gloved the ball to the keeper and then struck for a fourth time with the total on 50.

Stephen Stubbings finally found a more resilient partner with the arrival of Jamie Rowland and the pair prospered for a period as the bitterly cold conditions contributed to a couple of chances going down in an otherwise faultless Chesterfield display.

After more than doubling the total, Alvaston were beginning to look likely to post a problematic target before Matt Higginbottom finally had some reward for a hostile spell when he bowled Stubbings for 58 with the total on 118-5.

Stubbings had been the only batsman to survive Deane’s superb spell and once he had departed his side soon succumbed to the pressure applied by a Chesterfield side already scenting victory.

The slide started when Rowland took a liberty too many with Simon Lacey to hole out for 33 after which wickets tumbled as Alvaston subsided to 158 all out.

Deane with 4-24 off 13 overs was outstanding and the remaining spoils were shared by Higginbottom (2-44), Lacey (2-50) and Wes Durston (2-16).

Any doubts about Chesterfield’s capacity to cope with the conditions were soon dispelled as Ben Slater and Paul Burdett punished a series of wayward new ball deliveries.

The pair made purposeful progress with a regular flow of boundaries interspersed with good running between the wickets and the century partnership was reached in comparative comfort after only 78 minutes play.

Burdett was bowled for a fluent 54 but by then the total had moved on to 116 and the end was in sight.

Durston struck a series of sixes and fours as Chesterfield accelerated to the victory target which was reached with almost half of the 50 overs unused.

Slater finished on 64 not out after a highly accomplished innings while Durston finished on an undefeated 29 once it was clear that the winning shot had bounced just inside the boundary rope.

It is the first time that Chesterfield have won their two opening games in 14 years of Premier League cricket and more pertinently for the new season this second successive win places the team at the top of the table.

With ground conditions looking poor for the weekend, Chesterfield are hoping that Queen’s Park will be playable on Saturday for a league game against Quarndon.

Sunday sees the side travelling to Nottinghamshire for a rearranged Kingfisher Cup game although plans are in place to switch the game to Queen’s Park if Caythorpe’s flood damaged ground is still unplayable. May Day Monday sees the club hosting the annual Mayor of Chesterfield’s Cup at Queen’s Park when Cutthorpe and an Invitation XI.